Douglas Wolk reviews The Making Of for the NYTBR

At the Panel’s Edge

New York Times Book Review    |    Douglas Wolk    |    December 14, 2012

Brecht Evens’s dry, slightly cruel satire of the art world’s fringes, THE MAKING OF (Drawn & Quarterly, $29.95), translated by Laura Watkinson and Michele Hutchison, concerns an installation artist who assembles a crew of no-hopers to build a titanic garden gnome for a small town’s inaugural “biennial.” Evens doesn’t cage his watercolor brush strokes in panel borders or word balloons. His images float on the page alongside fragments of awkward conversation, barely outlining the contours of the story; he shifts between slow, airy sequences and startling full-page tableaus that parody familiar schools of fine art. When the festival’s organizer appears on TV to promote it, Evens presents a cutaway view of the scene, with on-air personalities sketched out in colored pencil, other people reduced to blobs of paint, the building’s walls alternately opaque and transparent. “And next up we have . . . art!” the announcer chirps.

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