“Party Animal” by Ronald Searle, The New Yorker, December 28, 1992/January 4, 1993, p. 157. © Condé Nast.

The New Yorker: Artist At Large ― “Party Animal” by Ronald Searle, December 28, 1992/January 4, 1993, p. 157. © Condé Nast.

More info about Searle’s “Party Animal” below the yearly recap.

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Here is a short selection of some of the more substantial posts published here during the year 2012.

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The description of Ronald Searle’s “Party Animal” at The New Yorker goes like this:

Under ARTIST AT LARGE, a fat, happy, cat gingerly lounges on his back in a box window. He had a multicolored hat on his head. It is snowing outside, and there is a wreath on the window.

An earlier, slightly different version of this drawing was created by Searle in 1989. Christie’s sold an original of this earlier version back in 2005. The lot description reads as follows:

“Party cat”, signed and dated “Ronald Searle/1989” (lower right) and inscribed “Party Cat/New Yorker 28 Dec 1992” (lower left), pen and black ink, crayon, watercolour and bodycolour, unframed 11¾ x 8¼ in. (29.8 x 21 cm.)

“Party cat” by Ronald Searle, 1989. Image retrieved from Christie’s.
“Party cat” by Ronald Searle, 1989. Image retrieved from Christie’s.

Ronald William Fordham Searle was a renowned British cartoonist. He died last year, on December 30, 2011. From The New York Times:

Yet his signature method, a curious mix of minimalist detailing and rococo flourishes using a vibrant watercolor palette, exuded a modern air — sometimes realistic, other times abstract, occasionally phantasmagoric — more reminiscent of the German expressionist George Grosz than Hogarth and his other British antecedents.[…]

Despite his skeptical, satirical bent, Mr. Searle had a soft spot for animals, especially cats. The subjects of his books “Searle’s Cats” (1967) and “More Cats” (1975), hyperactive and dour, were among his favorite creations. He was also fascinated by snails, and found a way to link them with terror, intrigue and even sex in his 1969 book “Hello — Where Did All the People Go?” (“Ronald Searle, Slyly Caustic Cartoonist, Dies at 91” by Steven Heller, January 3, 2012).

To discover more drawings by Ronald Searle, one can visit Perpetua. Ronald Searle Tribute. The commemorative blog was started back in 2006 and is still updated on a regular basis. Alternatively, one can also discover his work by browsing through all the posts tagged “Ronald Searle” over at Attempted Bloggery, an excellent blog about the art of illustration. Images are presented in large formats along with detailed information (provenance, context, size, medium, etc.).

English cartoonist and illustrator Ronald Searle, 1956. (Photo by Baron/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
English cartoonist and illustrator Ronald Searle, 1956. (Photo by Baron/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
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