Cartoonmuseum Basel

Le Monde de Tardi


Jacques Tardi, born in 1946 in Valence (FR), is one of the world’s most prominent comics artists. His clear, extremely confident line and adept stylisation are unmistakeable and have inspired generations of artists in the comics scene. Tardi primarily works with historical topics, to which he devotes himself with immense meticulousness, and he intensively addresses war. His albums “Varlot Soldat”, “It Was the War of the Trenches”, “Goddamn this War!” and “Le Dernier Assaut” are among the most haunting and disturbing comics ever made about the First World War, and were extremely well received internationally. One of Tardi’s latest series of albums focuses on the Second World War and relates what his father experienced as a prisoner of war in what is now Poland.

Tardi’s comprehensive oeuvre ranges from the comics series “The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec”, set in a fantastically excessive Belle-Époque Paris, to his adaptations of crime novels by Léo Malet, which feature the pipe-smoking private detective Nestor Burma and are set against a true-to-detail 1950s backdrop, through to the socio-critical “La débauche” about social degradation in contemporary France.

Tardi studied at École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts in Lyon and at École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs in Paris. He has been publishing comics at the highest level for 50 years. He has won every conceivable award in the world of comics, including the Grand Prix de la Ville d’Angoulême and the Eisner Award, but he declined to be admitted to the French Legion of Honour “with very firm resolve”. The retrospective at Cartoonmuseum Basel shows over 200 original drawings from all of this artist’s periods of work and, as a special highlight, includes the first-ever presentation of originals from volume 3 of “Stalag IIB”, which has been published recently.

Curator: Anette Gehrig, Pierre-Marie Jamet