Art in the comic is an exhibition in which some of the leading illustrators and cartoonists demonstrate their passion for the history of painting. The exhibition will present iconic works from the history of art as interpreted by numerous cartoonists, initiatives by museums based around comics and an initiative of the Telefónica Foundation aimed at reinterpreting its artistic collection in vignettes.
The exhibition brings together work from the masters of European comics such as Milo Manara, Enki Bilal, Catherine Meurisse, David Prudhomme, Bernard Yslaire and Marc-Antoine Mathieu. It also includes a broader group of Spanish artists such as Santiago García, Javier Olivares, Ana Galvañ, Mamen Moreu, Miguel Gallardo, Sergio Bleda, Paco Roca, Rubén Pellejero, Juan Díaz Canales, Enrique Ventura, Joan Boix, Fidel Martínez, Brais Rodríguez and Malagón, amongst many others. Together with all of them, there are also American authors including Juan Giménez, Arthur Suydam, Jorge Zentner and Patricio Clarey.
The comic infiltrates the museum
The great centres of art have become aware of the importance of the comic. In 2005, Fabrice Douar, editor at the Louvre, and Sébastien Gnaedig, editorial director of Futuropolis, created a collection of comics in which the museum itself and its art collections formed the central thread of the narrative. These albums were drawn and written by some of the most important figures in the Franco-Belgian and Japanese comic world.
In 2009, this initiative would result in the exhibition Le Louvre invite la bande dessinée (The Louvre welcomes comics), by which France’s premier museum opened its doors to display the work of the artists who participated in this collection. In 2012, a new exhibition of comics showed the originals of the album Les Fantômes du Louvre (The Ghosts of the Louvre) by Enki Bilal. The artist took photos in the rooms of the museum, drew 22 ghostly figures on top of them and imagined stories linked to the paintings they were admiring.
This initiative inspired other museums who understood the narrative possibilities of the comic. In 2014, the Musée d’Orsay, in collaboration with the publisher Futuropolis, created its own collection of comics set in the mythical train station and its art collections. To date, two albums have appeared drawn by Catherine Meurisse and Manuele Fior.
Comics arrived in Spanish museums in 2014 with the album Mitos del Pop (Pop Legends) by Miguel Ángel Martin, commissioned by the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid as a complement to the eponymous exhibition devoted to Pop Art.