Dear Contributor, 2012
Graphite and Letraset on paper
100 x 70 cm
Courtesy the artist and 1301PE, Los Angeles
In 2012, acclaimed British artist Fiona Banner devised a performance event called The Exquisite Corpse will Drink The Young Wine at the Welsh Congregational Chapel in London, which focused on the Peanuts cartoon beagle Snoopy and his nemesis, First World War ace of aces The Red Baron. Famed for her wordscapes and other text-based art, Banner subsequently began a series of works exploring Snoopy as a “meme” in popular culture, including producing sheet music for the 1966 hit song “Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron” by Florida rock band The Royal Guardsmen, hitherto unpublished due to legal disputes with Snoopy’s creator Charles M. Schulz.
Dear Contributor is drawn from the script for Snoopy: The Musical (1975): specifically, the rejection of Snoopy’s manuscript – beginning with the cliché par excellence “It was a dark and stormy night” – by the fictional magazine Playbeagle. The editors’ acerbic words, stamped out by Banner in Letraset on graphite, play with Snoopy’s characterisation as a dreamer, philosopher and aspiring novelist. At once humorous and cruel, Dear Contributor posits Snoopy as the quintessential artist, his boundless imagination unbridled by self-recognition, ever aspiring to an imagined audience.
Fiona Banner (b. 1966, Merseyside, UK) is among the most distinguished artists of her generation. A member of the famous Young British Artists, she graduated from Goldmiths College, London with her MA in 1993, and was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2002. Banner has been widely exhibited across the globe, with works in major public collections throughout North America and Europe.
Presentation House Gallery is pleased to announce our new publication, Font Book (2016) by Fiona Banner, published by Bywater Bros. Editions. The book is launching at the New York Art Book Fair, and at Presentation House Gallery’s September Issue No/4 as a take-home gift.