J. Hoberman at the New York Review of Books:
It may be that everyone has their own Tomi Ungerer. The eighty-three-year-old graphic artist and illustrator’s work has been part of many people’s childhoods, others’ countercultures, still others’ outrage, and, at one point in his career, every straphanger’s New York. Mine is the artist whose late 1960s promotional posters forThe Village Voice (“expect the unexpected”) still had pride of place in the newspaper’s offices when I began working there in the late 1970s.
Born in Strasbourg, Ungerer, who lived through the Nazi occupation, is a native of no-man’s land, as the term was used to describe a war zone, and a public artist, in the sense that, for a time, his primary gallery was the street. His work has since been enshrined in the Musée Tomi Ungerer, France’s first government-funded museum devoted to a living artist. “All In One,” Ungerer’s current US retrospective at the Drawing Center in Soho, is another first, surveying an oeuvre that encompasses illustrated children’s books, advertising campaigns, political posters, uncaptioned gag cartoons, gemütlich ink-wash landscapes, and sadomasochistic erotica. To these, curator Claire Gilman has added a sample of the juvenilia that Ungerer produced as a child in German-annexed Alsace.