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Jean Image at Balthazart
1 March 2016 – 18 April 2016| Free
LONDON | Jean Image at Balthazart is a selling exhibition at the Balthazart Gallery, part of the Seven Dials Club, of vintage cartoon production cels and backgrounds created by Jean Image studios, one of the ‘founding fathers‘ of French animation mainly active between 1950 and 1980.
Each frame pairs together a production cel and a background. These compositions reveal individual ’still sequences’ of cartoon films. The movies were shown in France and in many other countries in cinemas and on TV. Each production cel was painted manually with gouache and is therefore unique. This process was used by the animation industry until 2000.
The show is dedicated to the fans of French cartoons, children, parents and collectors of vintage artistic images — and the viewer is drawn, from an image to the next, into an imaginary world combining the magic of Paris, Christmas and fairy tales.
20 original compositions are exhibited. The framing of each composition takes into account the specifics of the image. Some of them show numbers, others annotations and scribbles.
Giorgio Fossi, founding partner of 9th Art in London revives for us, in an instructive and festive manner, the craftsmanship of postwar French animation.
’’I feel extremely lucky to be able to present these original frames, which were not always preserved by the studios. I want this exhibition to reveal the magic of Christmas, a nostalgic charm and more generally the dreamy character of fables.” —Giorgio Fossi
A selection of Jean Image’s cartoons, as well as a documentary about the production process, illustrates the origin of the production cels.
The typical size of a production cel is 265 x 230 mm. Once framed the artworks are A4 or slightly larger. Prices start from £250 up to £1000.
In association with 9th Art in London. Admission is free.
Illustration: Detail of a animation production cel from Au Clair De Lune, 1972, a Jean Image cartoon made for French television. Shown right: A poster for the first long animated movie Johnny The Giant Killer a 1950 French animated film directed by Jean Image. The film was made in 1½ years with a very small crew. The film won the Venice Film Festival’s Grand Prix for children’s films. (This poster is not in the show.)
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There is a Private Viewing Party on Tuesday 23 March 2016 from 6:30pm until 10:00pm.