From 9 March to 2 April 2022, the Les Arts Dessinés gallery is delighted to be hosting an exhibition dedicated to Nylso's Cabanes and organised to coincide with the reissue of Cabanes : comment les feuilles s'épanouissent by Éditions Misma - a selection of illustrations in various formats showcasing the artist's delicate drawing style and the quietly contemplative atmosphere of his work.
Born in 1964, Jean-Michel Masson, alias Nylso, is a self-taught French comics writer and illustrator. Nylso - who created the fanzine Le Simo in 1994, at the age of 30 - is best known for his 7-volume series Jérôme, which was launched in 2000 by Éditions Flblb and tells the story of a young bookseller struggling to find his way in life but growing in confidence with each new challenge as the series progresses. This coming-of-age story has been shortlisted for the "Inheritance Prize" (Prix du Patrimoine) at the 2022 Angoulême International Comics Festival. The inspiration for My Road Movie, published in 2008, was an actual road trip from Brittany to La Vendée which the artist undertook with one of his brothers, and in 2016 Nylso published Gros Ours & Petit Lapin (Misma), a touching philosophical fable on the subject of friendship.
Nylso is passionate about illustrating and rarely parted from his Rotring 0.1. In an interview for the France Culture channel, he described his artistic practice in the following terms:
"I don't treat it as a job. No way! It's an all-consuming passion. Drawing is my favourite means of occupying myself. For the last 25 years, I've been oblivious of time passing. And I carry on as if I still had all the time in the world. I put the stories in boxes and when I've done enough drawings, I put it all together and make a book."
Nylso's drawings are typically composed of small, black, very fine lines delicately applied one after the other on a blank page; they organise themselves, sometimes superimpose themselves, to form masses, volumes and shadows.
"Someone who is naturally good at drawing is capable of standing in front of a blank surface and starting to draw. I'll make a mark and then I'll see something in the mark and after several hours, or weeks, I'll see something else and identify a picture, a scene. That's how I come up with something. If I had to make a drawing in pencil, all my energy and spontaneity and naturalness would go out of the window," Nylso explained in interview.
Nylso's work is both introspective and generous, a contemplative but also a participative experience. The artist's solo show at the Les Arts Dessinés gallery illustrates this multiplicity while highlighting the originality of his style.
Private view: Tuesday 8 March, from 6pm to 9pm, in the presence of the artist.
Signing session : Saturday 12 March, from 2pm to 5pm.
Registration with firstname.lastname@example.org
Works available to view online from Wednesday 9 March 2022.