Prints : Juillard

"Atomium : Paris-Bruxelles, Bruxelles-Paris" - André Juillard
Click on the image to enlarge

"Atomium : Paris-Bruxelles, Bruxelles-Paris" - André Juillard


The master of realist “ligne claire” simply had to be a part of the “Atomium 1958-2008” collection. Here, memories and dreams form a neural pathway that links the Eiffel Tower with the Atomium, also embracing Paris, Brussels and New York, the artist’s favourite cities.

André visited the Atomium in 1958, as a young schoolboy, but admits that he cannot recall the occasion. “In fact, I only discovered the Atomium quite recently, when drawing “Les sarcophages du 6e continent” based on the detailed research provided by Yves Sente, who does my scenarios.” For the artist responsible for “7 vies de l’Épervier”, the Atomium has something in common with the Eiffel Tower: a lack of purpose. “It’s not a functioning work of architecture; it’s an architectural construct that symbolises man’s ability to defy the laws of gravity and demonstrate his faith in science. The Eiffel Tower has retained its 19th century appeal; as for the Atomium, it remains timeless, for the moment…”

The author of “Cahier bleu” admits that he made no attempt to pay homage to “Atomic Style”, which he considers to be quite distant from his own, even if he himself “might be nostalgic for a time that I lived through without paying it much attention, as any child would do. Yet my passionate reading of the “Spirou” journal has marked me indelibly.” One might think, from listening to him, that “Atomic Style” might well have been a late invention by the nostalgic authors of the “Marcinelle” school (Jijé, Franquin, Will, Tillieux…) and those of the 1950s. “Franquin was the best representative of that era; he portrayed his own times with such remarkable verve. Would “Atomic Style” even have existed, but for Franquin’s genius?”

The artist behind “Plume aux vents” has thus created an atmospheric image that is in sympathy with his own way of approaching a subject: as obliquely as possible, “trying to suggest a background story through subtle touches (the Eiffel Tower, the night, the sleeping woman, the figures of the woman and the little boy pictured, as it were, in front of the Atomium). All of that holds great significance for me, but it’s not something I particularly want to explain. It’s up to the observer to read his own little story into it, or to recreate mine if that’s what appeals to him.”