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Joann Sfar exhibition “Drawed Life” at the MAHJ

The Museum of Art and History of Judaism is currently presenting the very first retrospective in France dedicated to Joann Sfar. This exceptional exhibition offers an immersive dive into the artist's world, with nearly 250 plates and drawings, most of which have never been exhibited, as well as sketchbooks, photographs and film extracts.


Date: From 12 October 2023 to May 14, 2024

Desires: Joann Sfar, illustration, drawing, literature, cinema, author, Judaism


The exhibition traces the journey of this extraordinary artist whose creativity has flourished for more than three decades through comics, cinema and literature.

Born in 1971 in Nice, Joann Sfar found in the art of drawing much more than a simple passion. It became for him a way of life, a way of perceiving the world, a true “drawn life”.


Joann Sfar Exhibition “Drawed Life”
Joann Sfar Exhibition “Drawed Life”

As a hard worker, Joann Sfar explores a variety of themes, from drawing as a "human science" to childhood, the body and sexuality, friendship, joy and death. He also maintains constant reflection on his own artistic practice, as evidenced by his personal notebooks.

The exhibition takes us through the different stages of the artist's life, from his youth in Nice, recently explored in "La Synagogue", to his arrival in Paris and his training at the School the fine Arts. It highlights the decisive meetings with his collaborators (David B., Christophe Blain, Émile Bravo, Emmanuel Guibert, Mathieu Sapin, Marjane Satrapi, Riad Sattouf, Lewis Trondheim...), the Nawak and Vosges workshops, as well as the major literary influences (Romain Gary, Joseph Kessel, Pierre Dubois...). The exhibition explores the multiple facets of his work, from fantasy and magic to drama and music, including his creations for children and his working method. She also discusses her inspirations, her view of everyday life through her collaborations with Paris Match, as well as her current projects.


Rabbi Sfar's Cat
Rabbi Sfar's Cat

Through Joann Sfar's most emblematic creations, the exhibition reveals the coherence of her work, from countless personal notebooks to those of "Klezmer", from children's stories (with a section dedicated to young visitors) to erotic plates dedicated to the painter Pascin. At the heart of this exhibition, "The Rabbi's Cat" symbolizes the artist who placed the Jewish voice, more cultural than religious, at the heart of his stories. He drew many sources of inspiration from the history of Judaism, while making his readers aware of the rise of anti-Semitism.

To complement this exhibition, a series of events are held in the auditorium, and guided tours as well as activities specially designed for young visitors are offered to accompany this fascinating exploration of the work of Joann Sfar.


Date: From 12 October 2023 to May 14, 2024

Desires: Joann Sfar, illustration, drawing, literature, cinema, author, Judaism

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