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Blutch Takes Stock

For the fourth year running, the Museums are participating in the "Illustration Encounters" convention, organized under the auspices of the City of Strasbourg and this year's convention patron, the cartoonist Blutch. Other partners are the city's Media Centres, HEAR, the Shadok and Fauteuil Vapeur.

Blutch studied at the Graduate School of Decorative Arts in Strasbourg (now HEAR). Here, for the first time in a museum, he presents an unknown aspect of his art: his illustrative drawings. Originals from his personal collection have been specially chosen for this exhibition. They include posters for film shows or jazz gigs, illustrations for youth and adult literature or the press, or again freely inspired illustration. All testify to the artist's interest in highly diversified techniques: soft pencil, oil paint, watercolour, charcoal and ink. With particular subtlety, Blutch renews the technique of pastel inherited from masters such as Balthus and Odilon Redon.

The illustrator's work reflects a world taking inspiration from a variety of backgrounds including literature, film, music, painting, illustration and comics, presented in the exhibition by works from his personal library. His taste in the field of the graphic arts is reflected in his private collection of illustrators, featuring 20th-century artists such as Ernie Bushmiller and Saul Steinberg or contemporaries like Catherine Meurisse and David Mazzucchelli. One of his major influences, however, remains the graphic work of Tomi Ungerer, whose themes he sometimes reworks, particularly in their satirical aspects.