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A few words to describe WORDLESS!, this month's upcoming multimedia show

Maus, courtesy of Art Spiegelman.
Maus, courtesy of Art Spiegelman.
Maus, courtesy of Art Spiegelman.

The Chicago premiere of Art Spiegelman and Phillip Johnston’s Wordless!, a show combining slides, talk, film, and live music will be held at the University of Chicago's Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts’ Performance Hall at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday, January 25.

Spiegelman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist known for the graphic novels Maus: A Survivor’s Tale and In the Shadow of No Towers, collaborated with jazz composer Phillip Johnston to create Wordless!, a multimedia presentation with new original music, composed by Johnston specifically for this show.

Wordless! brings to life the work of the five most important artists of the wordless graphic novel – Milt Gross, Si Lewen, Frans Masereel, Otto Nückel, and Lynd Ward – in a series of animated projections accompanied by live music.

“It’s an incredible honor to bring Art Spiegelman back to the Logan Center to present this live work that actually demonstrates the connection between word and image,” says Hillary Chute, Neubauer Family Assistant Professor in UChicago's Department of English, who is partnering with the Logan Center to bring the production to campus. “It’s a rare opportunity to witness a new, dynamic performance about form, aesthetics, and the very nature of seeing.”

In addition to the performance, Spiegelman and Johnston will participate in residency activities at UChicago, including workshops and discussions with a range of faculty and students. The performance marks a return to the campus for Spiegelman, who took part in the Gray Center’s 2012 conference Comics: Philosophy & Practice, a project organized by Chute and one of the first major events held at the Logan Center.

Tickets to the January 25 shows at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. can be purchased at, by calling 773-702-ARTS, or in person at the UChicago Arts box office in the Logan Center on 915 E. 60th Street. General admission is $20, and $10 for all students.