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Olivier Julien. Robert Deam Tobin. Home Contact us Help Free delivery worldwide. Free delivery worldwide. Bestselling Series. Harry Potter. If the basic item of the exhibitions is the original page, the selection retains original works partly dissociated from the actual comics or works that reduce the narrative sequencing of comics in favor of a more pictorial effect.
For example, the Vraoum! The Crumb exhibition presented an important number of complete stories. But when one considers the entries listed in the catalogue, fifty-six of those were related to stories ranging from two to pages! On the other hand, the selection process also emphasizes works which are related neither to comics nor drawing. The presence of such non-comics works in exhibitions devoted to creators known for their comics output requires some explanation from the curators and commentators of these exhibitions:. Comics, like any domain of creation, are not alone. The consideration of a comics author through the prism of his versatility goes here with an ambition to redefine comics, by distancing them from their most traditional features.
Versatility can also be the result of the exhibition itself, of the invitation made by the museum. These creators were asked to choose pieces from museum collections and to display them in a new light. Schuiten and Peeters offer both a technical and aesthetic look at these items. Bilal renamed them and thus transformed them into imaginary artifacts coming from his books. A process of selection, repurposing, requalification, and possibly expansion is asked here from the authors . Focusing on versatility, exhibitions present comics creators through various figures of more legitimate fields: drawing artist, painter, sculptor, video makers, and so on.
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It is this very versatility that establishes the author as an artist. It gives the creator the legitimacy to be presented and honored by the exhibiting institution. It is devoted to five authors whose universes, iconographies and recent productions largely exceed the limits of the illustrated story and of the page. Our emphasis. This quote makes apparent what is at stake when terms like author and artist are articulated or substituted for each other. The artist is the creator who gave proof of his creativity through the diversity of his production. The author that can be considered as an artist is the one who demonstrated his understanding of issues specific to the fine art field, such as critical reflexivity and formal research.
Comics creators are presented and distinguished as artists , but their comics origins prevent them of being discussed and considered as artists like any others. The creators were presented as full artists. Yet the reunion of these full-on artists, despite their stylistic, formal, and generational differences, is only determined by their former or present, strong or distant relationship to comics. In the same manner, the dialogue some exhibitions Vraoum!
The difference resides in the very principle of such exhibitions: a dialogue implies the existence of two distinct ensembles, art and comics Beaty It is also more quietly expressed in the practical presentation of artists. The Vraoum! Exhibitions are spaces of recognition and instruments of cultural legitimization; they also are moments of reaffirmation of the symbolic order. They set the conditions and limits of consecration. The way comics creators are constantly brought back to their disciplinary status precludes them from their complete inclusion in the fine art field.
The exhibition discourses constantly oscillate between a disciplinary and symbolic and devaluing assignation of comics creator and the recognition of individual exceptions  , of deserving creators able to go beyond their comics roots to be considered as artists.
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The relationship between comics and fine art that comics exhibitions manifest knows variations at the margins of the museum. Some institutions invite comics creators to comment on fine art works and artists within their exhibition spaces or in books, published in relation with some of their exhibitions . Comics and comics creators thus leave the walls they occupy in comics-dedicated exhibitions for other marginal places in museums: residual spaces on the walls of non-comics exhibitions or bookshelves in museum bookstores.
On these occasions other practical and symbolic connections are made between fine art museums and comics creator. In exhibitions, comics had to conform to museum and fine art standards of presentation and evaluation. Elsewhere, comics creators can play their own game, dealing with cartoons or with sequential visual narratives in books. Analyzing comics appropriating museum art as well as museum-commissioned comic works, Michal D. Similar remarks are made by Margaret C.
Practices and discourses maintain statutory differences between the two ensembles. Through the different configurations that can be observed at the margins of the museum, three figures appear for comics creators in their relationship with fine art. Their role is one of cultural mediator, critic and biographer, or peer artist. In , the Swiss comics creator Zep author of the hugely successful humor series Titeuf was asked by the Palais des Beaux-Arts of Lille, in the North of France, to contribute to the third edition of its annual Open Museum project .
As a cultural mediator, the guest artist has to help the institution reach other audiences with other means. His drawings were projected on the walls, next to the commented works from an Egyptian sarcophagus to a mediaval icon or a modern painting , or sometimes directly on the works for example video projecting tattoos or fake chest hairs on a classical nude statue. Some works made by Zep were also exhibited: painted pastiches or parodies for example a pop music-themed re-creation of a Bosch painting and some original drawings and sketches.
The book published in conjunction with the exhibition consists in a chronological presentation of historical and artistic periods, from prehistory to abstract art. For each period or theme, a piece of the museum collection faces a cartoon by Zep, which are also the cartoons projected in the museum. The discourse conveyed by the exhibition and the book fully plays its mediating role: the comics creator delivers a humorous and accessible commentary that attempts to level down the symbolic distance the museum institution imposes to some audiences . On three occasions at the time of writing , the Centre Pompidou in Paris commissioned original comics creations to be published as companions to its fine art exhibitions.
The first commission was made for the important Dali retrospective that took place in Paris from November to March The results of those commissions are very different editorial products but they share a similar attempt at sophistication and distinction, and they put the comics creators in a similar role of critic and biographer.
These projects were initiated by Jeanne Alechinsky, editor of the comics imprint for the Centre Pompidou . The comics creators chosen for these books are critically acclaimed or less established actors of independent comics. Edmond Baudoin, author of the Dali book, is a founding figure of autobiographical comics in France.
The Magritte comics are made by well-known and acclaimed comics creators like David B. Dali par Baudoin is a page book in the graphic novel format. The Duchamp and Magritte books are in more original and diverse formats. Duchamp: Un jeu entre moi et je is a six-meter long leporello accordion book. Each one is made by a different creator or pair of creators. The fine art commentary here is presented in a sophisticated and distinctive form. Comics are invited to comment on fine artists but not any comics or not any comics format.
The techniques black and white or colors, ink and pencil or paint and the styles used by the different contributors in these books are diverse, but their approaches of the artists they present are along the same lines. These books offer a mainly biographical look at the discussed artists—even if they do not present a linear and exhaustive biography and are sometimes very allusive or metaphorical. Almost all of them gives at least minimal biographical data and dates, sometimes with biographical and bibliographical supplements. The bodies of work of the artists are presented in a specific manner: the work functions as imagery, a stock of images that have to be presented or evoked, that have to be appropriated or reinvented by the comics creators and that have to be explained.
This is especially true for artists like Dali and Magritte, whose works are famous for their striking images. Famous objects, characters, and situations of their paintings are used as a setting for the narrative Olislaeger or as characters in a panorama Sekulic-Struja or in short surrealistic stories Giandelli, Vandenbroucke.