Bateman exhibit helps Riverhouse Barn, Walton, celebrate 25th year

This Is Local London: Making his mark: Bateman's work still inspires cartoonists Making his mark: Bateman's work still inspires cartoonists

An art exhibition with a difference comes to Walton this month, with not a single watercolour, charcoal or oil pastel in sight.

As the Riverhouse Barn builds up to celebrate its 25th anniversary in September, the venue will be filled with the works of HM Bateman throughout the summer.

Like many famous names, Bateman expressed himself through art and became known as the first modern master of 20th century British cartooning.

While talented artists such as Van Gogh, Picasso and Monet created famous portraits and landscapes, Bateman created stories without words through dramatic and expressive drawings in a familiar cartoon style.

Best remembered as the creator of "The Man Who...", Bateman often took inspiration from social faux pas.

Bateman began his cartooning career at the age of 15 in 1902, with most cartoons acting as illustrated jokes with a lengthy caption to accompany it. By 1908, his style turned "mad on paper", with characters drawn with popping eyes, gaping mouths and twisted limbs.

The cartoonist’s modern style later became a major influence on the early artists of The New Yorker and is considered a key figure by Mad Magazine, while his drawings continue to inspire cartoons in the current day.

The exhibition, on loan from the Cartoon Museum in London, shows more than 80 original cartoons including his witty observations of suburban, sporting, working and theatrical characters.

HM Bateman exhibition; Robert Phillips Gallery at Riverhouse Barn, Manor Road, Walton; July 16 to August 24, 10am to 4pm Tuesday to Saturday and 2.30pm to 4.30pm Sunday; visit riverhousebarn.com.

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