Art Galleries

The Artist as Storyteller

When: July 21-Aug. 19 2012

In visual art, there is an unspoken decree that narrative be oblique — something hinted at, but never straight-out told. We inherit this limitation from the modernist quest to distinguish painting from other artistic forms, like theater and cinema. Before that, though, dating back to Egyptian and Mayan wall-painting, art and sequential narrative often coexisted happily. Working on the recent exhibition of graphic novelist Daniel Clowes’ panels at the Oakland Museum of California, curator/artist Alison O.K. Frost got to thinking: An exhibition that allowed visual artists to indulge the storytelling impulse might result in something great. “As I considered this idea, the show started to materialize in my head,” said Frost. “The parameters would be simple — pictures and/or words in service to a narrative, broken up formally into multiple ‘panels,’ and presented as a story.” Featuring five artists, including “Twitter novelist” Pamela Matsuda-Dunn and handmade bookmaker Michelle Wilson, The Artist as Storyteller promises to be an intriguing change of pace. Through August 19 at The Compound Gallery and Studios (1167 65th St., Oakland). 510-601-1702 or

Alex Bigman

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