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Illustration of an older woman dressed in warm clothes hugging herself to suggest she's out in the cold

Posy Simmonds: A Retrospective

24 May – 15 September 2019
Exhibited at the House of Illustration

The first major UK retrospective of the celebrated comic artist and graphic novelist.

Posy Simmonds’ sharp satire and progressive female characters have defined a career spanning 50 years. The exhibition showcased her early-career pastiches, iconic cartoon strips for The Guardian and children’s books such as Fred, which became an Oscar-nominated film. It also included the first ever British graphic novel, True Love, unseen pages from Tamara Drewe and drawings from Simmonds’ 2018 book, Cassandra Darke.

Co-curated by Paul Gravett.

Selected reviews and articles

"Intensely enjoyable and astute... Reliably funny and wise." 

The Spectator

"Any social historian a century from now wanting to know English life of the late 20th and early 21st century would be well advised to dwell on the work of Posy Simmonds. She has a knack for skewering the detail of people’s lives in an absolutely recognisable way." 

Evening Standard

"Creating progressive female characters long before the world got 'woke'." 

Metropolitan Magazine

Posy Simmonds at the exhibition, standing behind a display case with pages from her comics

Posy Simmonds at her Retrospective.

Visitors at the exhibition

Visitors at Posy Simmonds: A Retrospective at House of Illustration.

Comic of a woman in red dancing with "the handsomest man in the world" as a crowd looks on and speculates about her accomplishments

Left panel from True Love, 1981.

Satirical comic titled "Seven Ages of Woman". It illustrates society's view of woman as innocent little girls, transitioning into heavily sexualised young woman proceeding to gradually age into old crones.

Seven Ages of Woman, France 2009.

All artwork © Posy Simmonds
All photographs © Paul Grover

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