From June 8 to October 10, the Bpi is hosting an exhibition dedicated to the work of American comic strip artist Chris Ware, in partnership with the Angoulême International Comics Festival, which in June 2021 awarded him the Grand Lifetime Achievement Award.
After the exhibitions devoted to Art Spiegelman, Claire Bretécher, Franquin, Riad Sattouf and Catherine Meurisse, the Bpi pays tribute this summer to the immense talent of the American artist Chris Ware, who has been pursuing a work of exceptional inventiveness, already distinguished by numerous international prizes: several Ignatz, Harved and Eisner Prizes, an American Book Award and the Guardian First Book Award, as well as the Grand Prize of the city of Angoulême, the Prize for the best album at the Angoulême Festival and Critics’ Prize.
Developed in close collaboration with the artist, this retrospective exhibition will guide visitors through his work which methodically explores, in his various works, all the richness and potential of comics.
Throughout a mainly chronological journey, intended to show the graphic and narrative evolutions of Chris Ware, a large place will be given to the original plates: both by their size and by the traces of bluish pencil, they make us perceive the drawing of Chris Ware in its precision and beauty. But also rare prints, sketches and notebooks as well as commented color enlargements will demonstrate how much Chris Ware is a true artist of the book, an inventor coupled with a perfectionist craftsman who proposed powerful renewals and thus allowed audiences to get as close as possible to the mysteries of the language of comics. A complete artist, Chris Ware has also produced a large number of objects – models, sculptures and various constructions – which are all playful extensions of his stories.
The artistic and editorial adventure that began in the 1990s with the publication of the various fascicles of the Acme Novelty Library, then the publication of his main works, Jimmy Corrigan (2000), Building Stories (2012) and Rusty Brown (2020) as well as as the multiple works he has offered to the worlds of the press (notably his participation in the New Yorker) and publishing, but also animated film (the animations made around Quimby the Mouse, Rusty Brown or Mirror) open up to comic strips the romantic expression of a time captured in multiple dimensions, and revealed to the reader and to the gaze.
Produced with Benoît Peeters and Julien Misserey, both specialists in the work of Chris Ware and more generally in the history of comics, the exhibition is set up in the heart of the spaces of the library, in perfect harmony with the predilections aesthetics and graphics of the artist, and in obvious dialogue with the vision held by the Center Pompidou on contemporary creation.
More information on the Chris Ware exhibition on the Bpi agenda
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