Bell Ã‰poque: 30 years of Steve Bell
25 May â€“ 24 July 2011
This exhibition celebrates 30 years of the Guardian's political cartoonist, Steve Bell.
On show are more than 200 leader cartoons, strip cartoons and comic pages produced for the Guardian and other periodicals over the last 30 years.This exhibition celebrates 30 years of the Guardian's political cartoonist, Steve Bell. On show are more than 200 leader cartoons, strip cartoons and comic pages produced for the Guardian and other periodicals over the last 30 years.Unlike his colleagues on other papers, Bell faces not one but two deadlines a day, four days a week: the leader cartoon and his strip cartoon Ifâ€¦ , where his surreal repertory company of penguins, sheep, a monkey, a whale and 'Lord God Almighty' perform alongside politicians, the police and the Royal Family.He began to pen the If... column for the Guardian in 1981, and it gathered an unstoppable momentum with his take on the Falklands War.Outspokenly left wing, Bell did not, however, pull his punches during the Labour government, and his inimitable eye for characterisation and caricature has kept readers of the paper entertained continuously for three decades.
Bell's incisive, often irreverent take on world affairs has seen cartoons on the Poll Tax, the death of Princess Diana, the rise of New Labour, the Iraq War and the 'war on terror', the international banking crisis and the coalition government.Look out for his most memorable characterisations " John Major as a tragic superhero who wore his underpants over his trousers, the startling eyes he gave Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher, the macabre aura he attributed to Ian Duncan Smith and, of course, his portrayal of George W. Bush as a hooting, knuckle-grazing chimp.