Centre Pompidou in Paris celebrates “The Ninth Art” this summer

This summer, the Centre Pompidou in Paris is to present “La BD à tous les étages” (“Comics on All Levels”), a landmark programme of exhibitions and events celebrating the comics art form, aka “The Ninth Art”.

Organised in all the Centre Pompidou spaces in partnership with the Hélène & Édouard Leclerc Fund, “La BD à tous les étages” is described as an exceptional celebration of the Ninth Art that explores this form of artistic expression in all its diversity.

With emblematic exhibitions such as “Comics and everyday life” back in 1977, “Paper Heroes: The Complete Narratives of the 50s” in 1988, and “Hergé” in 2006, the Centre Pompidou is, of course, no stranger to comics and the comic form, one one of the pioneering institutions that has recognised comics as a major art. True to this legacy of innovation and sharing artistic diversity, “La BD à tous les étages” will provide complete immersion into the multiple worlds of the genre.

From 29th May until 4th November, visitors can look forward to “an exceptional celebration of the ninth art”, a “Comics on Every Floor” event that will explore the sheer breadth of diversity of this form of artistic expression, displayed in all areas of the Centre Pompidou and catering to all ages.

Art by Posy Simmonds

As we’ve previously reported, the Centre Pompidou is currently hosting a free exhibition devoted to comic creator Posy Simmonds until 1st April 2024 – full details here on their website.

Offering a veritable journey through the modern and contemporary history of the medium, a “Comics, 1964 – 2024” exhibition establishes a dialogue for the first time in France between its three leading centres of expression – European creation, Asian manga and American comics. Its twelve themes and a series of unexpected resonances between authors conjure up the imaginary worlds of comics, the emotions they generate
and the diversity of techniques employed.

On a lower level in the heart of the museum, six monographs of historic masters of comics – Edmond-François Calvo, Will Eisner, Hergé, George Herriman, Winsor McCay and Geo McManus, will be exhibited in resonance with the permanent layout of the Centre’s modern (1900-1960) collection. At the same time, work by contemporary authors – Blutch, Dominique Goblet, Catherine Meurisse and Chris Ware – will be presented in several rooms and passages, alongside masterpieces from the Centre’s collection by René Magritte, Mark Rothko, Francis Picabia and Theo Van Doesburg.

On level 2, Hugo Pratt’s emblematic hero, Corto Maltese, will occupy the spaces of the Bibliothèque publique d’information (Bpi), perpetuating the rich tradition of the Bpi’s relationship with comics.

The announced programme for “La BD à tous les étages” (“Comics on All Levels”) is as follows…

Comics 1964-2024, 29th May – 4th November 2024 | Exhibition, Gallery 2, level 6

A fresh dialogue among the three main strongholds of expression in the world of comic strips: European creation, Asian manga and American comics, starting in 1960s counterculture, through to the latest digital output. The exhibition presents 12 different themes summoning the imagination of comics (history, science fiction etc.), the emotions they trigger (fear, dreams, laughter etc.), and the diverse artistic techniques used (black and white, self-expression, geometry etc.)

There will be an accompanying catalogue, and an English edition from Thames & Hudson, the foreword written by comics expert Paul Gravett.

Resonances: Comics at the Museum, 29th May – 4th November 2024 | On display in the museum galleries, level 5

David B, « L’Ascension du Haut Mal », 2002 © David B, courtesy L’Association & galerie Anne Barrault
David B, ” L’Ascension du Haut Mal”, 2002 © David B, courtesy L’Association & galerie Anne Barrault

As a counterpoint to the permanent modern collection (1900-1960), six rooms have been devoted to the comic strip greats: Edmond-François Calvo, Will Eisner, Hergé, George Herriman, Winsor McCay and George McManus. At the same time, 15 contemporary authors go up against masterpieces, in the form of tribute, quotation or pastiche, Philippe Dupuy and Matisse, David B. and Breton, Anna Sommer and Picabia, Catherine Meurisse and Rothko, etc.

Corto Maltese: Living the Stuff of Fiction, 29th May – 4th November 2024 | Exhibition, Public library, level 2 | More information here

Pompidou Centre 2024 - Exposition
Corto Maltese - Une vie romanesque
29 May - 4 November 2024

Created by Hugo Pratt in 1967, Corto Maltese has become a truly emblematic figure in the world of comic strips. The story of his peregrinations, with intrigue and plot twists galore, is also scattered with references and literary quotes. These are in fact the special focus of this exhibition featuring original documents (photographs, notes, storyboard, sketches, studies, plates and watercolours).

“Tenir-tête”– An exhibition-workshop by Marion Fayolle, 29th May – 4th November 2024 | Exhibition-worshop, Kids Studio, level 1 | More details here

Pompidou Centre 2024 - "Tenir-tête"– An exhibition-workshop by Marion Fayolle, 29th May – 4th November 2024

For young audiences, author and illustrator Marion Fayolle transforms the Galerie des enfants into an immersive installation around the subject of a nomad encampment. Each of the “tent-heads“ of her “Tenir tête“ exhibition-workshop, imagined in resonance with her graphical work, provides shelter for moments of sharing, discovery and astonishment.

Lagon Magazine (Lagoon Revue): “Le chemin de terre”, 29th May – 19th August 2024 | Exhibition, level –1

Pompidou Centre 2024 - Lagon Magazine: "Le chemin de terre", 29th May – 19th August 2024 | Exhibition

No exploration of comic book worlds would be complete without an invitation to discover its most contemporary, adventurous and experimental forms. The Lagon Revue, a veritable laboratory dedicated since 2014 to emerging authors, occupies the spaces on level -1 with an exhibition presenting the pages of an ideal review consisting of print-outs, original plates, wall paintings and serigraphs.

Comics Out of the Box – Live programme, 29th May – 7th July 2024 | Level –1

Pompidou Centre 2024 - Comics Out of the Box – Live programme, 29th May – 7th July 2024

The events programme “Comics out of the box”, aims to enrich and complete this major event, offering six weekends of activities from 29th May to 7th July with discussions, concerts, performances and workshops. Over the course of these weekends, the public will be invited to take part in a comic-book marathon in partnership with the Angoulême festival, giving a “blank page” to contemporary authors, to encounters and conferences in the exhibition spaces of the Lagon
, weaving links between comics and other artistic practices, plunging
into the Marvel universe before participating, finally, in sketching manga.

“La BD à tous les étages” (“Comics on All Levels”) – Overview

• More details here (exhibitions) and here (events) on the Centre Pompidou website

Categories: Comic Art, Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Events, Exhibitions

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