PARIS | Matignon

7 Jun > 20 Jul 2024


Michel Crespin (1955-2001) enjoyed a meteoric career. His first cartoons appeared in 1977 in the pages of the iconic science fiction magazine Métal Hurlant, where he soon made a name for himself as the author of darkly post-apocalyptic stories drawing on two things he knew well ? mountains and solitude. A naturally reserved artist, whose home was in the heart of the French Alps, Crespin created a number of standout albums, including his big Armalite 16 saga, recently re-published by Humanoïdes Associés. He followed this with the historical Troubadour series and with Faust, two delicately drawn fables about human nature in which he foregrounded the use of colour. And, finally, in 2008 Futuropolis published the posthumous Villa Toscane, a dark story originally created for Lombard?s ?Histoire & Légende? collection. In agreement with Crespin?s family, Huberty & Breyne will be showing a selection of original pages from these albums at its 36 avenue Matignon gallery from 7 June to 20 July 2024.

Crespin was something of a dreamer, a man of few words, reserved but charming. What is so surprising about his work is that it channelled new ideas that are more than ever relevant in today?s world. Crespin focuses intently on human nature and the angst to which human beings are prone, highlighting subtlety and ambivalence, and the importance, or otherwise, of our place in the natural environment. While championing certain ideals, he remains clear about society?s shortcomings. And, in graphic terms, Michel Crespin is constantly looking for new ways of expressing his ideas. Influenced perhaps by the location of his studio ? in the heart of the mountains ? he plays with the effects of the light. When he works in black and white, he succeeds in creating a fragile balance between the drawn line ? executed with surprising delicacy ? and the flat areas of his image, the hatching and the mechanical effects. He experiments constantly, takes infinite care over his lettering (a characteristic feature of his work), composes and recomposes. In his drawings in direct colour, the reds and blues are pure, with darker tones sometimes substituted for the drawn line, the whole skilfully combined and involving subtle shifts in density. There is a real pleasure to be had from seeing original pages by Michel Crespin framed on the gallery wall. Isolated from the narrative to which they contributed, these images speak to us as unique objects functioning in their own right.

Thursday 6 June 2024 from 6pm to 9pm

From Friday 7 June 2024
to Saturday 20 July 2024

PARIS | Matignon
36 avenue Matignon
Mardi > Samedi 11h ? 19h