Major Exhibition of Celebrated Cartoonist Gerald Scarfe Comes to Kirkcudbright

Running from Saturday 14th September, to Sunday 8th December 2019, The House of Illustration is bringing the touring exhibition Gerald Scarfe: Stage and Screen to Kirkcudbright Galleries for the first time. This exhibition is a variation of Gerald Scarfe’s striking production designs for theatre, rock, opera, ballet and film, and will only be on display in a number of limited locations.  

Gerald Scarfe is the UK’s most celebrated political cartoonist; his 50-year-long career at The Sunday Times revealed an imagination that is acerbic, explosive and unmistakable. But less well known is Scarfe’s lifelong contribution to the performing arts and his hugely significant work beyond the page, designing some of the most high-profile productions of the last 30 years.

This exhibition is the first to explore Scarfe’s extraordinary work for stage and screen. It features over 100 works including preliminary sketches, storyboards, set designs, photographs, ephemera and costumes from productions including Orpheus in the Underworld at English National Opera, The Nutcracker by English National Ballet and Los Angeles Opera’s The Magic Flute.

It also shows his 1994 work as the only ever external Production Designer for Disney, for their feature film Hercules, as well as his concept, character and animation designs for Pink Floyd’s 1982 film adaptation of The Wall. Scarfe’s surreal and often grotesque artwork cemented The Wall’s iconic status in pop culture.

Known for his uncompromising satire in print, Scarfe started drawing for Punch in the 1960s and went on to work as The Sunday Times’ political cartoonist for 50 years, from 1967 until his retirement earlier this year. He has just been announced as the Evening Standard’s new political cartoonist.

Commenting on the upcoming exhibition, Dumfries & Galloway Council’s Chair of Communities Committee Andy Ferguson has said “We are tremendously excited to welcome Gerald Scarfe: Stage and Screen to Kirkcudbright Galleries. The exhibition shows examples of Scarfe’s contribution to the performing arts, rock and classical music, ballet, and animation. And so, the exhibition has something that will inspire and appeal to all ages in Dumfries and Galloway.   
Vice Chair of Dumfries & Galloway Council’s Communities Committee John Martin has said that “This new exhibition is special in that it shows the Galleries continued endeavours to put on and make accessible high-quality exhibitions for the region, which will attract visitors both locally and nationwide.”
“In a newspaper, you’ve got to hit hard, because you’re competing for the reader’s attention with advertisements and screaming headlines. So I was trained to catch the viewer’s eye, and that’s what I did with the scenery in Orpheus.” – Gerald Scarfe