PARIS | Mycélium

17 May > 10 Jun 2023

Julien MAGNANI Cinéfils




For its second event, Mycélium is delighted to be hosting “Cinéfils”, an exhibition devoted to Julien Magnani’s most recent publication. 

Julien Magnani first made a name for himself in the field of independent publishing with a catalogue of singularly talented artists involved in producing original new comics ideas. It was during his studies at the École Estienne, and thanks to the teaching of Archimbaud, Massin, Faucheux and Robial, that Magnani developed an interest in typography and the history of book making. He realised that creating a book is an art form in itself, and he was fascinated by the different “languages” offered by the medium. In 2011, he founded Éditions Magnani, a publishing house that, rather than focusing on individual collections, allows drawing, illustration and cartoon work to coexist without distinction, inside covers characterised by graphic simplicity and a classic sobriety. His aim was to produce books that have a timeless quality.

Julien Magnani’s other great enthusiasms are film and oil pastels. During periods of lockdown, he resorted to watching two or three films a day, as a form of relaxation – popular films, arthouse films, French and American films, films revisited, standout films from his own life, reels of film inherited from his parents and forming part of his family history. Between two viewing sessions, as a way of resting his eyes, exercising his memory and making creative connections, he would switch to a different “window on the world”. The white page of a notebook, a freeze-frame, an instant captured, the self-taught pastel strokes… these were things he grafted on to the film reel. They were the “cinéfils” or “ciné-fils” (literally strands of film) that he unwound and rewound in technicolour as he filled his notebooks, working without preparatory sketches – placing his marks, and his colour, directly on the page. Employing a range of saturated, brilliant colours, a lively drawing style, and (for minimum distraction) an economic approach to background, he extracted what appeared to him to be the essence of the film. Then came the editing stage, a process of assembling different imaginative worlds, creating from page to page a bridge between scenes that have nothing whatsoever in common. With Cinéfils, Magnani has created a sequential art that tells his “story” in cartoon form complete with vignettes and ellipses. And maybe the gallery walls provide the artist’s ideal screening room, and an original form of editing, so as to tell another story entirely…




The Mycélium project is a new Huberty & Breyne initiative intended, in the first instance, to occupy the mezzanine-level exhibition space at the gallery’s avenue Matignon venue. Conceived as a novel approach to the graphic arts, exploring the point at which these arts (in all their ramifications) intersect with one another, Mycélium aims – through a mixture of collective and solo exhibitions – to establish an artistic identity that is both coherent and eclectic.

Amélie Payan, who devised the project, is passionate about literature and the visual arts and eager to explore what happens when the two come together – the tenuous relationship between words and drawing, narrative and emotion, reading and looking.

Seen from this perspective, the hybrid art of comic strip offers an ideal medium for the artist who is simultaneously the writer – or vice versa – to keep coming up with new ideas and breaking formal rules, and so invent a potent sensory writing that mediates an artistic dialogue where the mark drawn can become a word, and the word can become a mark. In this “amphigraphic” art, drawing and narration come together to create a new visual language.

The idea behind the Mycélium project is to be present at this crossover point and explore just what the drawn line can do – to go beyond drawing as a utilitarian or transitional concept and treat the medium as an experimental “vocabulary”, explore different artistic “ways of writing” and thereby consolidate the continuum of the arts.

The artists involved in this project – both established and emerging – explore multiple graphic forms that enable them to keep extending the expressive power of drawing. Drawing is affirmed as a creative, organic and living act, a vibrant thing that resonates with other art forms, in the same way that, for the poet Charles Baudelaire, “perfumes, colours and sounds correspond”.  The idea is to explore the porousness of artistic boundaries, allow drawing to vibrate, like a living language, and so provoke thought.


Private view: Tuesday 16 May 2023, from 6.00 pm to 9.00 pm, in the presence of the artist


Exhibition: from Wednesday 17 May to Saturday 10 June 2023
Works available to view online from Wednesday 17 May 2023

PARIS | Matignon
36 avenue Matignon, 75008 Paris
Monday > Saturday 11.00 am – 7.00 pm