Refiguring Modernism in European Comics

'New Seeing' in the Works of Lorenzo Mattotti and Nicolas de Crécy

in European Comic Art
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  • 1 Independent researcher uhlig.barbara@gmail.com
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Both in literature and art, exponents of modernism sought new forms of expression that took into account changes in the social, economic, technical and political conditions of the time. A similar trend towards questioning outmoded forms of representation and establishing new ways of seeing has become apparent in European comics since the 1980s, a development that was initiated primarily in Italy and France. In Murmure (1989), Lorenzo Mattotti invokes expressionism and centres his mystical tale on the individual's inner being. In rejecting the representational norms traditionally applied to comics, Nicolas de Crécy also shows his allegiance to modernism yet reflects in his absurdly hyperrealist work, Foligatto (1991), the grotesque images of Otto Dix. The following article demonstrates how the two artists, despite the deliberate reversion to early twentieth-century art common to both, have, each in his own way, established a new approach to seeing in comics.

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