Michel-Édouard Leclerc is the owner and CEO of the Hypermarchés Leclerc, a large chain of supermarkets and other retailers all across France. Over the years he has also become one of the most important collectors of original bandes dessinées art in Europe, especially when it comes to artwork that appeared in Métal Hurlant and (A Suivre), the two magazines that in the early 80s freed BD from its adolescence and allowed it to blossom into maturity.
In the modern art museum La Boverie in the Belgian city of Liège, near the German border, a remarkable exhibition has been set up of works from Leclerc’s collection, that allows even the most casual visitor to get a good impression of who those creators were that weren’t satisfied anymore with the traditional adventure comic mould, what stories they tackled and how they experimented visually. And all for the same, common good: making comics into a self-sustained, mature artform.
The show was previously in Laderneau and Angoulême, but has been considerably enriched to fill the Palais’ central room, showcasing new acquisitions in the Leclerc collection, but also important pieces from the collection of the City itself.
And so you can discover the beauty of original works by that rebel generation, with Hugo Pratt, Jacques Tardi, François Schuiten, François Bourgeon, Serge Clerc, Yves Chaland, José Muñoz, Jaques de Loustal, Tanino Liberatore, Moebius, Milo Manara, Didier Comes, Enki Bilal, side by side with current work by Brecht Evens, Brecht Vandenbroucke or pages from Paysage après la bataille by Philippe de Pierpont et Eric Lambé (winners of the Grand Prix in Angoulême earlier this year), as well as classics from the greats, like Hergé, André Franquin, E.P. Jacobs, Morris or Hermann.
All in all, some three hundred works have been organised thematically (focusing on the subjects that were important with the new generation: science fiction, rock music, cinema and contemporary art). They give an impressive overview of the amazing talent and variety that revolutionary generation had, but also the continuity with the giants that came before, and the young turks that are currently coming up. Not to be missed.
‘Révolution bande dessinée’ in La Boverie, Liège, until June 11.