Marginalia. Inside the Comics Art Collections at Nouveau Musée National de Monaco (NMNM)- Villa Sauber, April 1 – September 5, 2021

Marginalia. Inside the Comics Art Collections is an exploration of comic book art, a young art born at the same time as film and psychoanalysis, and which has frequently opted for marginality over convention, humour over academicism and counter-culture over received ideas.

Built around rare loans from public and private collections, the exhibition offers a chance to rethink the relationship between comic books and their acceptance by institutions, or how a medium that has always been split between counter-culture and mass culture has entered the museum space without giving up its transgressive vocation or boosting its commoditisation.

Following Freud’s traumarbeit (dream-work) model, Marginalia. Inside the Comics Art Collections invites visitors to discover over 350 works by some of the greatest comic book artists and honours the passion of those who find their work an endless source of fascination.

Marginalia are the small drawings located in the margins of Medieval manuscripts. Often secular, sometimes droll, always fascinating, they form a dialogue with the texts that they illuminate, explain or criticise and can be seen as the origins of comic books, a combination of drawing and writing which blossomed in the 20th century.” — NMNM

Guido Crepax. Marina, ca. 1969/1972. Ink and graphite on paper, 18,5 x 40,5 cm. Private collection, Paris © Archivio Crepax e Guido Crepax
Jochen Gerner. La Main au Collet, 2016. Acrylic on printed backing, 60 x 42 cm. Collection NMNM, n°2016.20.1 © Jochen Gerner © ADAGP, Paris, 2021. Photo credit: NMNM / François Fernandez
George Herriman. Krazy Kat, 1921. Ink on paper, 57 × 50 cm. Private collection, Paris © D.R.
George Herriman, Krazy Kat , ca. 1969/1972. Ink on paper, 42 x 52 cm. Private collection, Paris © D.R.
Milo Manara. Un Eté Indien, 1987 (scénario d’Hugo Pratt). Ink and watercolor on paper, 52,5 x 42 cm. Private collection, Paris © Milo Manara
Mandryka. Concombre masqué, s.d. Ink on paper, 50 x 42,5 cm. Private collection, Paris © Mandryka
Jean-Claude Mézières. Paris sera toujours Paris, 1999 (scénario de Pierre Christin). Ink on paper, 44 x 55 cm. Private collection, Paris © Jean-Claude Mézières
Richard Felton Outcault. The Yellow Kid , 1896. Ink on paper, 31 x 53 cm. Private collection, Paris © DR
Peyo. Les Schtroumpfs, 1939.Ink on paper, 51,5 x 40,5 cm. Private collection, Paris ©Peyo – 2021 – Licensed through I.M.P.S (Brussels) – http://www.smurfs.com
Benjamin Rabier. Le Tango, 1914. Ink on paper, 32 x 42 cm. Private collection, Paris © DR
François Schuiten. Les Cités Obscures. Couverture de l’Intégrale, volume 1 , 2017 (text by Benoît Peeters). Acrylic and graphite on paper, 44 x 57 cm. Private collection, Paris © François Schuiten
François Schuiten. Les Cités Obscures – L’ombre d’un doute, 2000 (text by Benoît Peeters). Acrylic and graphite on paper, 65 x 50 cm. Private collection, Paris © François Schuiten

Sempé. Untitled, s.d. Ink on paper, 34,5 x 31 cm. Private collection, Paris © J.J. Sempé – Courtesy of Galerie Martine Gossieaux

Exhibition Curator: Marie-Claude Beaud, Guest Curator: Damien MacDonald, Associate Curator: Stéphane Vacquier, Scientific Adviser: Didier Pasamonik, Scenography: Berger & Berger (Laurent P. Berger and Cyrille Berger).

Images courtesy Nouveau Musée National de Monaco.