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The Comics of Chris Ware$
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David M. Ball and Martha B. Kuhlman

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781604734423

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604734423.001.0001

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Chris Ware and the Burden of Art History

Chris Ware and the Burden of Art History

(p.65) Chris Ware and the Burden of Art History
The Comics of Chris Ware

Katherine Roeder

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter examines Chris Ware’s comics version of art history and how it reveals his fundamental ambivalence toward high art and the institution of the museum, even when he has been celebrated by many in these arenas. By analyzing “Our History of Art,” a series of episodes that appears among the opening pages of The ACME Report, it highlights the tension between Ware’s suspicion of the art world and his familiarity and ease with its conventions. The chapter also considers Ware’s advocacy for a greater awareness of comics in relation to his critique of traditional art histories. Furthermore, it discusses the influence of artists such as William Hogarth, René Magritte, and Philip Guston on Ware’s artistic production, along with his skepticism toward both art criticism and art museums.

Keywords:   comics, Chris Ware, art history, high art, ACME Report, William Hogarth, René Magritte, Philip Guston, art criticism, art museums

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