Opening Soon: “Joost Swarte Everywhere” – a major exhibition at the Kunsthal, Rotterdam

"Love Stories", cover for The New Yorker, 2014. Copyright © Joost Swarte

“Love Stories”, cover for The New Yorker, 2014. Copyright © Joost Swarte

A major one-man retrospective of the Dutch cartoonist, illustrator, architect and design wizard Joost Swarte, celebrating his fiftieth anniversary at the Kunsthal Rotterdam, from 14th September until 12th January 2020.

Joost Swarte is a maestro, a pioneer and a true promoter of comics. From publishing his comics in the first issue of the seminal RAW (by Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly) in 1979, he’s never stood still moving from drawing comics to illustration and graphic art, designing posters, stamps, logos and typefaces, furniture, objects and even buildings.

Piet Mondriaan in his New York Studio, En toen De Stijl, 2017 Copyright ©Joost Swarte

Piet Mondriaan in his New York Studio, En toen De Stijl, 2017 Copyright ©Joost Swarte

He is also the co-founder of the publishing house Oog&Blik, worked on scenarios for the Herge Museum in Belgium and is a regular contributor to The New Yorker. “Is That All There Is?”, his collective comics, was published in 2012 by Fantagraphics. (One of his RAW covers was used as the front of the Tate coffee table book Comics Art by Paul Gravett).

This year, Swarte will be celebrating his fiftieth anniversary as an illustrator, designer and architect with an exhibition at the Kunsthal Rotterdam. The exhibition, Joost Swarte Everywhere, pays homage to 50 years of drawing by presenting a cross section of Swarte’s body of work – from his first cartoons, original drawings, sketches, designs and objects to his most recent work.

Swarte’s search for the most surprising and iconic illustrations is also shown on the basis of sketches that have never been exhibited before.

The Kunsthal Rotterdam is one of the leading cultural institutes in the Netherlands, situated in the Museum Park in Rotterdam. Designed in 1992 by the renowned architect Rem Koolhaas, the Kunsthal has seven different exhibition spaces and presents a varied programme with around 25 exhibitions on a yearly basis. Because there are always several different exhibitions to be visited at any given time, the Kunsthal is able to offer an adventurous journey through different continents and art movements. Culture for a wide audience, from modern-day masters and contemporary art to obscure cultures, photography, fashion and design. An extensive programme of activities is organised to accompany the exhibitions.

• • Joost Swarte everywhere 14th September until 12th January 2020, Kunsthal Rotterdam |  Full details of the exhibition here on the Kunsthal web site

 Listen to a 2014 interview with Joost Swarte, talking to Alex Fitch at the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, first broadcast on Panel Borders, here

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With thanks to Paul Gravett

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The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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