Not heard of the UK’s most celebrated political cartoonist? Known for his uncompromising satire in print, Gerald Scarfe started drawing for Punch in the 1960s and went on to work as The Sunday Times’ political cartoonist for 50 years, from 1967 until his retirement earlier this year.
Less well-known is his lifelong contribution to the performing arts, and his significant work beyond the page, designing some of the most high-profile productions of the last half century. This first major retrospective at the House of Illustration is of his designs for rock, opera, ballet, theatre and film, many of which will be publically exhibited for the first time.
It features over a hundred works, including preliminary sketches, storyboards, set designs, photographs, ephemera and costumes from productions including Orpheus in the Underworld at English National Opera, The Nutcracker by English National Ballet and Los Angeles Opera’s The Magic Flute.