The Art of Comics Exhibition

The Johannesburg Art Gallery (JAG), the Embassy of France in South Africa and the French Institute of South Africa are pleased to present The Art of Comics, an exciting new exhibition that showcases the fascinating worlds of South African comics and French bandes dessinées, the famous French comic style.

The Art of Comics, which will take place from 19 September until 17 November 2019 at the JAG, will offer visitors a rich variety of contemporary South African comics and graphic novels that explore themes of history, folklore, science fiction, autobiography and new developments in the field, such as augmented reality comics. The exhibition will also include a special section on French Speaking Comics Today, curated by Thierry Groensteen, one of France’s leading bande dessinée researchers and theorists.

Various workshops will be organised for schools and the general public, led by South African and French experts as well as special guests, to learn about the techniques around comics, animation, augmented reality, and much more.

The exhibition is timed to coincide with Comic Con Africa, the continent’s largest comic festival, to give the public a wider look into the world of comics and animation.

The Art of Comics is presented by the Johannesburg Art Gallery, the Embassy of France in South Africa and the French Institute of South Africa, and sponsored by Total, who will be bringing more than 800 students to the exhibition.

Discover South African and French talent

The work of important South African artists, including Loyiso Mkize, Mogorosi Motshumi and Luke Molver, will be on display. Mkize is the talent behind South Africa’s first real superhero, Khwezi, and behind The Art of Comics‘ visual identity, while Motshumi is the first black South African to publish an autobiography in a graphic novel format, entitled The Initiation. Molver is the artist behind the 1980s comic strip Sloppy. He will soon be launching the second edition of his Shaka Rising graphic novel series.

Some of the best French bandes dessinées artists will be showcased, including Riad Sattouf, cartoonist, comic artist, and film director who worked for the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and wrote The Secret Life of Teenagers, as well as Pénélope Bagieu, author of the successful illustrated blog My Life is Fascinating, and Lewis Trondheim, an award-winning comic author, who created the independent bande dessinée publishing house L’association.

The work of other artists linked to animation and innovative formats, such as virtual reality, will also be displayed, including a VR experience of the short film Accused #2, based on sound archives from the famous Rivonia trial.

Programme & Workshops

Panel Discussion at Comic Con Africa
Discussion with The Art of Comics‘ curators and special guests
Saturday 21 September, 11:00  Comic Con Africa, Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand

Public Walkabout 
Walkabout of The Art of Comics exhibition with the curators
Sunday 22 September – Johannesburg Art Gallery

Workshop – Comics and Memories
Panel discussion & workshop
Saturday 28 September – Johannesburg Art Gallery

Workshop – Comics and Queer Identities
Book launch & discussion
Sunday 29 September  Johannesburg Art Gallery

Public Walkabout 
Last walkabout with the curators before the closing of the exhibition
Sunday 17 November  Johannesburg Art Gallery

Find out the whole programme in the next few weeks on IFAS website and JAG website

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