Anna Haifisch’s new show highlights the absurdities of daily life

Starring the German illustrator’s trademark anthropomorphic animal figures, So Far So Good spans themes from superficial silliness through to dark melancholy

Anna Haifisch’s work takes inspiration from a long history of iconic cartoon animals, ranging from Charles M Schulz’s Snoopy character to cartoon series Looney Tunes.

The illustrator and comic artist’s drawings, which use anthropomorphic, seemingly anodyne animal figures as allegories for the more surreal elements of everyday life, have previously appeared everywhere from MoMA to the Guardian.

Club Fire, 2020. All images © Anna Haifisch
Hünd Couture

On display at Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe (MK&G) in Hamburg, Haifisch’s new solo show offers a comprehensive look at her diverse body of work – from illustrations and prints to comics and drawings, as well as physical products adorned with her distinctive designs.

The first section of the exhibition includes 170 ink drawings presented alongside the digitally coloured final versions, as well as editorial illustrations for the likes of Die Zeit and the New Yorker. A wall graphic created in collaboration with graphic designer Anja Kaiser invites visitors to delve deeper into her practice, with additional commentary and anecdotes added by the illustrator.

Exhibition photos by Henning Rogge

The second half of the show reflects on her response to American culture and her experiences of living and working in the United States, taking inspiration from pop culture, 20th century American Realism and comic book history.

In Billbirds, a large-format work created for the exhibition, Haifisch and Kaiser combine the aesthetics of American billboards, her trademark anthropomorphic animal figures and, unsurprisingly, a touch of tongue-in-cheek humour.

From the series Drifter, 2017
Art-Rite – Objectivity and Object No 8, 2022

So Far So Good is at MK&G Hamburg until October 20;