Cartoonmuseum Basel


The Art of the Scraperboard


Painting it Black at the Cartoonmuseum Basel! The exhibition “Kontrastprogramm” brings a dark art to light: the scraperboard technique. The scraperboard is a piece of white board that is covered with a layer of black ink. Using a cutter to scratch and scrape, the artist then exposes the white beneath the black. The unusual white lines and hatching and the often large percentage of black in theresulting drawings turns our seeing habits upside down. The scraperboard technique is frequently chosen by artists seeking gloomy, expressive images for stories that revolve around the yawning abysses in human existence. Others use it for portraits, caricatures and illustrations that playfully exploit the drama and abundant contrasts provided by the scraperboard. The Cartoonmuseum highlights the more than one hundred year history of the scratchboard technique with works that oscillate between classical caricature, topical comic and free art: from the woodcuts by models such as Gustave Dore and Frans Masereel, to works by the contemporary artists Hannes Binder (CH), Raphael Boccanfuso (FR), Brian Gallagher (IE), Matti Hagelberg (FI), Line Hoven (DE), Matthias Lehmann (FR), Thomas Ott (CH), Regina Pessoa (PT) and Mark Summers (CA). Curator: Anette Gehrig