Art9 is pleased to present Line and Frame: A Survey of European Comic Art, featuring a selection of artwork by over 40 renowned European artists including Hergé, Moebius, and Enki Bilal. Line and Frame: A Survey of European Comic Art will offer American visitors a unique opportunity to experience a comprehensive exhibition of rare, original European comic art from the last 70 years, featuring influential masters alongside artists defining the field today. An opening reception will be held on February 27, 2020 from 6-8pm at Danese/Corey (511 West 22nd Street, New York City, New York) and the exhibition will be on view through March 14, 2020. Line and Frame: A Survey of European Comic Art is presented in association with cultural partners The Cultural Services of the French Embassy, The Consulate of the Kingdom of Belgium, The Cultural Services for Wallonie-Bruxelles International and The French-American Foundation.
Comic art is widely considered to be a fine art, especially among European enthusiasts, a sentiment that is quickly gaining traction in the United States. Comic art originals have been exhibited to appreciative audiences in venues from the Centre Pompidou in Paris to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.
What makes this art form unique is its ability to appeal across generations, inviting return reading throughout one's lifetime. American comic book characters are now shared multigenerationally in books, films, and television series. Even comics (or bandes dessinées) from the Franco-Belgian school are now widely known in the United States, and their characters have become part of popular culture. Line and Frame: A Survey of European Comic Art includes one of the biggest names in this field: Hergé, the author of The Adventures of Tintin. This exhibit will offer a rare chance to see the artist’s hand at work, showing — for the first time in America — an example of an original comics page by Hergé alongside a draft version, offering fascinating insight into this legendary artist’s creative process.
The exhibition will also feature artists who specialize in science fiction and fantasy, including the master of the genre, Moebius (a pseudonym for Jean Giraud). In addition to his diverse and visionary body of comics work, Moebius contributed designs and visual concepts to groundbreaking films including Alien, Tron, and The Fifth Element. Other major artists in this genre whose work will be shown include Philippe Druillet, the artist who co-created Métal Hurlant (the French inspiration for Heavy Metal magazine) alongside Moebius, and Belgian artist François Schuiten, whose comics focus on urban living and architecture’s ability to drive society.
In addition to these influential artists, Line and Frame will feature contemporary icons and upand-coming independent voices whose works define the current Western European comics landscape. These include Enki Bilal, who has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Louvre and at Arts and Métiers, and whose works are among the best-selling in the European market for comics originals. Other contemporary artists will include pioneering artist and publisher Florence Cestac, the first women to win France’s top comics prize, Nicolas De Crecy, who distinctively blends international influences, Claire Bretécher, whose feminist comics were translated in National Lampoon magazine in the 1970s, and Jacques de Loustal, who has produced several covers for The New Yorker magazine.
Though the line-work of comics may seem simple in execution, the content is innately complicated. Talented comic artists must succinctly organize their images and ideas to develop a rhythm that will connect with a viewer and convey an expressive meaning. Original comic strips and illustrations are a work of art in their own right. Moebius once said: “The comics were not only stories to enjoy, they were drawings that possessed me…for a few minutes.” By bringing together a selection of work by preeminent artists of the highest caliber, each with their own distinct style, vision, and unique story to tell, Line and Frame: A Survey of European Comic Art invites visitors to leave the outside world behind, and for a few moments immerse themselves in the various worlds created by the artists.
Artists in the exhibit will include: Achde, Mathieu Bablet, Fred Beltran, Georges Bess, Enki Bilal, François Boucq, Enrique Breccia, Claire Bretécher, Cecilia Capuana, Florence Cestac, Nicole Claveloux, Guido Crepax, David B., Nicolas De Crecy, Philippe Druillet, André Franquin, Gipi, Jean Giraud, Juanjo Guarnido, Hergé, Jijé, André Juillard, Patrice Killofer, Olivier Ledroit, Liberatore, Régis Loisel, Jacques de Loustal, Magnus, Milo Manara, Manchu, Stan Manoukian, Frank Margerin, Enrico Marini, Julie Maroh, Jacques Martin, Jean-Claude Mezieres, Jean-Claude Mézières,Moebius, Chantal Montellier, Thomas Ott, Peyo, Hugo Pratt, Daria Schmitt, François Schuiten, Paolo Serpieri, Guillaume Sorel, Jacques Tardi, Toppi,William Vance,Laur ent Verron and Yslaire.
Line and Frame: A Survey of European Comic Art is organized by Art9 Founder Philippe Labaune with the assistance of Exhibition Consultant Bill Kartalopoulos.
A portion of proceeds from the sale of work in this exhibition will go to benefit ComicBooks for Kids, a non-profit organization that provides kid appropriate comic books to children in hospitals and cancer centers throughout the US.