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Kurt Vonnegut, Master Doodler

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He may be Indianapolis' most widely regarded literary export, but Kurt Vonnegut also dabbled in another creative venture -- visual art. Vonnegut's secondary occupation is probably better known in Indianapolis than many other towns. In 2007 his silkscreen prints were the focus of a popular exhibit at the Indianapolis Art Center. Today, those prints, including the ever-amusing “asterisk-anus,” can be purchased at the Vonnegut Memorial Library.

Kurt Vonnegut favored felt-tip markers to more traditional art materials, telling the Palm Beach Daily News in 1980, "They make such extraordinary Magic Markers, such brilliant colors. It makes things very easy." - COURTESY OF MONACELLI PRESS
  • Courtesy of Monacelli Press
  • Kurt Vonnegut favored felt-tip markers to more traditional art materials, telling the Palm Beach Daily News in 1980, "They make such extraordinary Magic Markers, such brilliant colors. It makes things very easy."

But beyond those prints, Vonnegut regularly created drawings with pens and felt-tip markers, which he described as easier than paints. The writer's artist daughter, Nanette Vonnegut has compiled almost 150 of those drawings, mostly created in the mid-1980s, in the upcoming book Kurt Vonnegut Drawings. In advance of its May publication, Cat's Cradle and Breakfast of Champions fanatics can see some of the whimsical, absurd pieces in a New Yorker online slideshow.

What to expect before you click through? In the book's introduction, Nanette Vonnegut writes, “I see hints of blueprints, tile work, leaded-glass windows, William Blake, Paul Klee, Saul Steinberg, Al Hirschfeld, Edward Gorey, my mother’s wasp waist, cats and dogs. I see my father, at age 4, 40, and 84, doodling his heart out.”

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