Blutch — Demain!

© blutch, "demain!" 2023

Cartoonmuseum Basel
Until February 11, 2024

French artist Blutch was born Christian Hincker in 1967 in Strasbourg, where he studied art at École supérieure des Arts décoratifs. In 1988, his first short strips appeared in the magazine “Fluide Glacial.” His oeuvre, which is hugely diverse both thematically and in terms of form, revolves around the drawing. Blutch is now seen as one of the most important and masterful artists behind today’s new French comic. His possibilities as a drawer and painter range from the quick expressive ink drawing to the subtle freestyle painting. In his often experimental works, this artist repeatedly crosses over into abstraction or (like in his early work “Peplum,” a free adaptation of the “Satyricon” by Petronius) leaves it up to the reader to fill in the gaps by means of free association. In fact, there is hardly any subject that Blutch has not tackled, and his stories inhabit all genres, be it science fiction, mystery, western, drama, or comedy.

In 1998, he published the collection of short autobiographical strips “Le Petit Christian” that brought his childhood in 1970s Alsace to life. Blutch took this further in a second part, which appeared in “Charlie Hebdo” in 2008. After countless black-and-white albums, he surprisingly produced a color album in 2002, the surreal “Vitesse Moderne.” Blutch has worked for numerous publishers and in a wide variety of collaborations. He has illustrated books, designed posters for filmmaker Alain Resnais and the Banlieues Bleues jazz festival, drawn for “Libération,” “The New Yorker”’ and “Les Inrockuptibles,” and worked on animations, such as the nightmarish “Peur(s) du noir.”

Blutch won the Grand Prix de la Ville d’Angoulême in 2009, the most important European award in comics, making him president of the Angoulême International Comics Festival for the following year. The retrospective at Cartoonmuseum Basel brings together originals from albums, as well as paintings, illustrations, posters, and excerpts from animations.