I have always had an admiration for Claire Bretecher, One of the greats in Seventies French comic art. 2 days ago she died leaving one of the greatest comic series on “women emancipation”.
Claire Bretécher (born April 17, 1940) is a French cartoonist, known particularly for her portrayals of women and gender issues. Her creations include Les Frustrés, and the unimpressed teenager Agrippine.
She was born in Nantes, and got her first break as an illustrator when she was asked to provide the artwork for Le Facteur Rhésus by René Goscinny for L’Os à Moelle in 1963. She went on to work for several popular magazines, and in 1969 invented the character “Cellulite”. In 1972 she joined Gotlib and Mandryka in founding the comics magazine L’Écho des savanes.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, she published successful collections, such as The Destiny of Monique (1982). In 2001, her series Agrippine was adapted into a 26 episode TV series by Canal+.
Les états d’âme de Cellulite (1972, Dargaud)
Salades de saison (1973, Dargaud)
Les frustrés (5 albums, 1975–80, Bretecher)
Le cordon infernal (1976, Bretecher)
Les angoisses de Cellulite (1977, Dargaud)
Baratine et Molgaga (1977, Glénat)
La vie passionnée de Thérèse Avila (1980, Bretecher)
Le destin de Monique (1983, Bretecher)
Les Mères (1982, Bretecher)
Docteur ventouse, bobologue (2 albums 1985-86, Bretecher/Hyphen)
It is a rare find to have found this 2 months ago. This is a book which was published during the best years of the “Figuration Libre”. This special artist book was published in an edition of only 1000 copies . I doubt that it was an authorized edition which was published by Fernando Pellegrino and Saverio Perozzi, but there is no doubt about the artistic quality that oozes from the pages. Quick sketching and written text in print, making a complete story on 92 pages.
On the cover an auto portrait of Di Rosa and page after page filled with typical Di Rosa art. My guess is that not too many copies will have survived the 36 years of its existence, which makes this one of the most collectable Di Rosa publications and an absolute MUST for the avid “Figuration Libre” collector/ enthousiast.
Di Rosa is the artist from the LIBERATION LIBRE group who arguably has been influenced the most by the original comic art from the previous French decades in comics. He even published some comics on his own. A bit like Raymond Pettibon also publishes his own comics. In an interview he tells the following to the interviewer:
“The great names in comics have affected me every bit as much as the great painters I love.” Growing up in the 1960s, relatively isolated in Sète on the French Mediterranean coast, Hervé Di Rosa got his culture fix from reproductions of fine art in books and from comics. “I saw no difference between them in scale or validity.” Starting to exhibit his art in 1980, Di Rosa with his brother Richard and Robert Combas drew on their passions for both art and pop culture to pioneer the radical French ‘Figuration Libre’ movement in the 1980s. Unlike most earlier Pop artists, who were not necessarily raised on comics, Di Rosa explains, “I don’t cite comics in a superficial way, I incorporate their techniques into my work.”
Personally i think the works by Di Rosa are too much like comics. I prefer the Combas works with the heavy outlines around his subjects , making his works stand out and recognized instantly. Still the Groninger Museum liked Di Rosa his works so much that they devoted a nice exhibition on Di Roda and published ” LES AVENTURES DE HERVE ET RICHARD ” in 1986. This and other Di Rosa publications are available at www.ftn-books.com
This week several blogs on “Figuration Libre” . It is the french counterpart of the mouvement which was led by haring, Scharf and Basquiat in the US, b ut with a difference, because , in my opinion, The Europeans? French were influenced by comis art from the Sixties and Seventies. The US artist did not have this legacy but invented a kind of street art on their own. Artistically more important but in many cases less pleasing to the eye.
Figuration Libre (“Free Figuration”) is a French art movement which began in the 1980s. It is the French equivalent of Bad Painting and Neo-expressionism in America and Europe, Junge Wilde in Germany and Transvanguardia in Italy. Arists in the movement typically incorporate elements of comic book art and graffiti into their work. They use bright colors and exaggerated, caricature-like figures.
The group was formed in 1981 by Robert Combas, Remi Blanchard, François Boisrond and Hervé Di Rosa. The term ‘Figuration Libre’ was coined by Fluxus artist Ben Vautier. Other figures include Richard Di Rosa and Louis Jammes. Between 1982 and 1985, these artists exhibited alongside their American counterparts Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Kenny Scharf in New York City, London, Pittsburgh and Paris.
Figuration Libre (Free Figuration) can be translated as “Free Style”.
Of course there is a reason to devote these blogs to Figuration Libre. I have acquired a small collection of important books by these artists which is now for sale at www.ftn-books.com
One of the iconic creators of great (french) comics is undoubtedly Jacques Tardi. Tardi managed to find the balance between classic comics/BD ( Bandes dessinee), graphic novel and Art. His series on Adele Blanc-Sec are among the very best in comic art from the last half century, but beside the series of ordinary BD’s he produced some great adaptations of “classic” french literature. Tardi successfully adapted novels by controversial writer Louis-Ferdinand Céline and crime novelist Léo Malet. In Malet’s case, Tardi adapted his detective hero Nestor Burma into a series of critically acclaimed graphic novels, though he also wrote and drew original stories of his own.
With a style of comic art, highly recognizable and very much a style of his own, Tardi crossed the border into the world of art and his pages of comics are now sold in galeries all over the world. http://www.ftn-books.com has some very nice Tardi publications available.
You can not write about Posada without thinking of Manuel Manilla, his artistic mentor. Both are extremely important for the development of Modern Art in Mexico. He has been a great influence to Diego Rivera. I am still searching for the reason why van Gennep published 2 very important monographic titles on Manilla and Posada. Is it interest or because of the worldwide reach of these publications that he thought these were interesting?….i really do not know.
Academics have estimated that during his long career, Posada produced 20,000 plus images for broadsheets, pamphlets and chapbooks. Posada was studied by key figures of Mexican muralism. Mural artists inspired by Posada, such as Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco catered to a Mexican elite that rejected foreign styles as part of their new-found bourgeois taste.
Posada is now a part of the Mexican art legacy and just a quick look into the book that is now for sale at http://www.ftn-books.com shows immediately why his art is timeless and a part of the Mexican folklore.
Punk, Underground/Metro, music, resistance, grafiti, painting, street art.-
All these words are related to the artist Kriki who made a name for himself in the Paris art scene in the mid Eighties.
In 1984, in Paris, Kriki founds a group of painters called Nuklé-Art and the electro punk group Les Envahisseurs. With the street and the Underground as his art school, he is involved in the beginnings of what is now known as Street Art. Immersed in alternative culture, he is identified from the beginning as one of the emblematic figures amongst the young French painters of the nineteen eighties. Kriki clearly belongs to the generation whose sensibility expressed itself in Free Figurative Art, which he helps to renew. Still very young, he exhibits with Keith Haring, Futura 2000 and even with Basquiat and Wim Delvoye. At just 23 years old, he has his first solo exhibition at FIAC (Paris) which will then move on to the Gramercy Art Fair in New York; this will lead to taking part in the very first exhibitions of his work in now famous Paris galleries such as Jérôme de Noirmont and Kamel Mennour. Kriki at that time becomes well known for a style which becomes immediately identifiable on the international scene, making him into one of the major artists of his generation.
In 1985, Kriki invents Fuzz, a half-robot, half polymorphous fetish, appearing as a virus infecting the history of art, and of which the Museum of Modern Art in Paris will publish a specimen. Kriki manipulates the original images from which his paintings emerge, resisting our initial attempts at a reading in order to express themselves in a universal language. Today, Kriki is still an incarnation of punk culture in French contemporary art, leading Ernest Van Buyender, the Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp to write: “Kriki is the only French artist whose originality and ambition can be seen as a bridge between Sub Culture and High Culture”. http://www.ftn-books.com has one rare Kriki publication available.
This has been one of the highlights from the past year. A book i did not know was published but a true treasure trove. The book dates back from 2001 and shows the history of 10 years of “Stage” posters. These are done by the very best of dutch (poster) designers. To name a few Anthon Beeke, Jan Bons, Joost Swarte, Lex Reitsma, Marten Jongema. A beautiful published book. BIS published these posters on a larger sized format. Giving these the best possible size in a still reasonably sized book . The book contains the very best of 10 years of posters starting in 1991 and ending in 2001. This book is now in my personal book case and i am glad to give this a place in my personal collection until it sells…..i love it!
Artist/ Author: Oliver Boberg
Title : Memorial
Publisher: Oliver Boberg
Measurements: Frame measures 51 x 42 cm. original C print is 35 x 25 cm.
signed by Oliver Boberg in pen and numbered 14/20 from an edition of 20