When Satire Becomes Art | ARTnews

By Ann Landi

A brilliant political cartoon can sum up the follies of the day or the era with a lightning-quick precision unavailable to even the most economical editorial writers. The graphic satirist has at his or her command a whole arsenal for lampoonery: exaggeration, speech balloons, and the usual draftsman’s tools of line, shade, and even color. As “Infinite Jest: Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine,” a show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, up through March 4, makes clear, humorous or scathing works on paper, such as those by Goya or Daumier, can reach a level of artistry that goes far beyond most political cartoons on the op-ed pages of newspapers.

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