Saturday, January 13, 2018

James Stevenson: Vanya in the Hamptons

Andrew Zerman has sent a photograph of original art from The New Yorker by James Stevenson. The drawing was a gift from Mr. Zerman's father, who purchased it at the Nicholls Gallery probably in the 1980s. Mr. Webster, the visitor, is distinguished by his striped shirt while the others are dressed more formally. He reclines while they are posed vertically. The front of Mr. Webster's face is bathed in sunlight and the perspective lines all point to him, reinforced by lines of the speaker's arm and leg and the bannister of the staircase. So the composition is sound, but the real trick of cartooning stagecraft is to make this assembly of figures who are isolated in the drama of their individual misery appear comic rather than tragic.

"I think it safe to say, Mr. Webster,
that we are the most Chekhovian
household in East Hampton."

James Stevenson
Original art
The New Yorker, August 22, 1977, page 42

Photograph courtesy of Andrew Zerman

Note:  My thanks to Andrew Zerman for providing Attempted Bloggery with this photograph of original New Yorker art.

Art by James Stevenson is always welcome here. Please send scans or photographs of original Stevenson works.

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