GOOD GRIEF, CHARLIE BROWN!

Steve R. Kennedy, LZ Charlie Brown, I Corps, 1968
Courtesy of Steve R. Kennedy, 174th Aviation Co.

LondonArt & Culture

GOOD GRIEF, CHARLIE BROWN!

A new exhibition explores the enduring cultural legacy of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and Charles M. Schulz's endearing Peanuts gang...

Considering Charles M. Schulz would proclaim his iconic comic strip was “about nothing”, the influence of Peanuts on popular culture has been—and continues to be—nothing short of monumental; Snoopy and his human friends inspiring artists to space travellers with their everyday outlook on emotional and political themes.

GOOD GRIEF, CHARLIE BROWN! Celebrating Snoopy and The Enduring Power of Peanuts

Detail of Peanuts 06.07.1968 © Peanuts

Used by NASA as an official safety mascot, astronaut Gene Cernan (the last man on the moon) would hold the hand of a Snoopy puppet during the Apollo 10 press conference; in 1968 and 1972, disillusioned young Americans put forward Snoopy for President; Schulz’s work would influence creatives from Matt Groening to Wes Anderson; and, to this day, leading artists and designers look to the cartoonist’s emblematic characters for inspiration.

Marking the unique influence and enduring relevance of this famous comic strip, GOOD GRIEF, CHARLIE BROWN! is a momentous new exhibition and series of events just opened at London’s Somerset House—contributions from names like Dior Homme’s artistic director, Kim Jones, to contemporary pop artist KAWS and Turner Prize winner Helen Marten line up alongside original works from the 17,897 strips Schulz had hand-drawn before his death in 2000.

Out of Many, One, 2018 © Ryan Gander

Out of Many, One, 2018 © Ryan Gander

Syndicated to over 2,600 newspapers in 75 countries worldwide, translated into 21 languages, and with some 355 million readers at its height of popularity, few forms of art have had such wide-reaching influence; offering tender and reassuringly vulnerable outlooks on topics from war to mental health, racism to gender-fluidity, perhaps no other has had such profound impact.

“The work of Schulz means a great deal to me as it’s one of the very few narrative styles that encompasses failure and regret,” says artist Ryan Gander, whose works on show include a flag drawn by his four-year-old daughter that will be flown above Somerset House. “In a world of Hollywood blockbuster endings, it’s refreshing to see non-idealised narrative rendered in idealised styles.”

GOOD GRIEF, CHARLIE BROWN! Celebrating Snoopy and The Enduring Power of Peanuts is showing now and runs until 3 March, 2019, at Somerset House, London.

@somersethouse

KAWS, No One's Home, 2015. Courtesy of Pace Prints

KAWS, No One’s Home, 2015. Courtesy of Pace Prints

Ken Kagami, CHARPEE Sculpture No. 1 , 2017, Courtesy of MISAKO & ROSEN, Tokyo

Ken Kagami, CHARPEE Sculpture No. 1 , 2017,
Courtesy of MISAKO & ROSEN, Tokyo

NASA, A Touch of Luck, 1969 Courtesy of NASA

NASA, A Touch of Luck, 1969 Courtesy of NASA

Detail of Peanuts 29.09.79 © Peanuts

Detail of Peanuts 29.09.79 © Peanuts

BLAH

Charlie Brown Good Grief © Peanuts

Des Hughes, Snoopy Banner, 2015, Courtesy of the artist

Des Hughes, Snoopy Banner, 2015, Courtesy of the artist

David Musgrave, Animal, 1998. Photo Marcus Leith. Courtesy greengrassi London

David Musgrave, Animal, 1998. Photo Marcus Leith.
Courtesy greengrassi London

Detail of Peanuts 22.09.63 © Peanuts

Detail of Peanuts 22.09.63 © Peanuts

Mark Drew, Positive Over Negative [CL Smooth], Courtesy of the artist

Mark Drew, Positive Over Negative [CL Smooth], Courtesy of the artist

This Charming Charlie © Lauren LoPrete

This Charming Charlie © Lauren LoPrete

Detail of Peanuts 29.09.1996 © Peanuts

Detail of Peanuts 29.09.1996 © Peanuts

Fiona Banner, Beagle Punctuation, 2011, Courtesy of the artist

Fiona Banner, Beagle Punctuation, 2011, Courtesy of the artist

Red Baron © Peanuts

Red Baron © Peanuts

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