Detail of Alex Ross’s “Mythology: Superman” (2005), courtesy of the artist, SUPERMAN,™ & DC Comics.
Detail of Alex Ross’s “Mythology: Superman” (2005), courtesy of the artist, SUPERMAN,™ & DC Comics.

STOCKBRIDGE — We owe many of our vivid images of superheroes to the comic book art of Alex Ross, whose work is featured in “Heroes & Villains,”
on display at the Norman Rockwell Museum through Feb. 24. 

Known for his photorealistic renderings of Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, and other caped crusaders, Ross helped revitalize the comic book industry, capturing a new generation of readers and bridging the gap between comic and fine art. The exhibition features some 130 works, including paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculptures from Ross’s personal collection. It features several rarely seen works — from his early crayon drawing of Spider-Man, created at age 4, to his groundbreaking work for such books as Marvels, Justice, and Kingdom Come.

The exhibition also pays homage to the artist’s inspirations, including original work by his mother, Lynette Ross (who was also a successful illustrator), Frank Bez, Andrew Loomis, and Rockwell, whom Ross has called “one of the greatest influences on my art.”

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Also on display are works by Andy Warhol, a huge comic book fan, including his Myths series, which mirrors many of the subjects depicted in Ross’s work.

Norman Rockwell Museum
9 Route 183, 413-298-4100, nrm.org. Admission $16 adults, $14.50 seniors, $10 college students with ID, $5 ages 6-18. 

ELLEN ALBANESE