Artcurial to offer works by Enki Bilal in Contemporary Drawing Sale

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Artcurial to offer works by Enki Bilal in Contemporary Drawing Sale
Enki Bilal, La couleur de l’air. Acrylic, pastel and pencil for the cover of this album (Casterman, 2014). Estimate: 80 000 – 120 000 €.

PARIS.- On 13 October Artcurial will present a sale dedicated entirely to Enki Bilal. This follows Oxymore, the previous sale of the artist’s work held by the auction house, as well as a host of exhibitions staged around the world that have been supported by Artcurial.

This sale will offer around thirty plates and original drawings by the artist, hitherto unseen and taken from his most emblematic albums: Partie de Chasse, the Nikopol trilogy and also Tétralogie du Monstre. Estimates range from 10 000 to 150 000 €.

« Artcurial is honored to organize this sale dedicated to Enki Bilal. It represents a high quality selection of Enki Bilal’s historic work that collectors have been waiting for » – Eric Leroy, Expert, Artcurial

Enki Bilal

Enki Bilal was born in 1951 in Belgrade. His childhood and arrival in France at the age of 10 provided inspiration for the captivating world of his albums, animated by ceaseless questions on the human condition. « Very early on, drawing became a place of refuge for me. I must have been 5 or 6 years old. » Enki Bilal

During the 1970s, Enki Bilal made his debut in Pilote. His work fit partly into the science fiction genre, exploring themes of time and memory. A few years later he met Pierre Christin, beginning a long and successful collaboration.

In 1980, the artist launched the first of his own iconic series : the Nikopol trilogy.

In 1987, Enki Bilal was awarded first prize in the Salon International de la Bande Dessinée in Angoulême.

In 1998, the La Tétralogie du Monstre appeared, with many other albums following on over the years, including Bug 2 in 2019.

A renowned artist, he exhibited at the Musée du Louvre and the Musée des Arts et Métiers in 2013. In 2015 and 2017, with Artcurial’s support, he exhibited his projects «Inbox» and «Ve(s) tige/Ve(r) tige» at the Venice Biennale. A cosmopolitan artist, his work has been showcased around the world, from New York to Belgrade, Sarajevo, New Dehli, Peking and more recently in Tokyo. He made his first film in 1989, Bunker Palace Hotel, followed by Tykho Moon (1996) and Immortal ad vitam (2004).

In 2019, he was chosen to be part of the jury at the Cannes Festival, with Alejandro González Iñárritu as president.

The world of Bilal in the spotlight

The sale on 13 October will highlight some of Enki Bilal’s finest work. One of the key pieces to come under the hammer will be a drawing in Indian ink and acrylic created by the artist for the cover of the album Quatre? from Tétralogie du Monstre. (est: 100 000 - 150 000 €).

Another notable lot amongst the thirty or so pieces on offer will be a drawing in acrylic, pastel and pencil for the cover of the album La couleur de l’air, from the trilogy Coup de sang, estimated at 80 000 to 120 000 €.

There will be several plates from the three volumes in the Nikopol trilogy, a tale full of adventure and excitement and undoubtedly one of Enki Bilal’s most well-known works.

Also featuring will be drawings made for other legendary works in the mysterious world of Enki Bilal, including Vaisseau de pierre and Partie de chasse.

Finally, there will be a few rare drawings that he created for particular occasions. A drawing in Indian ink, gouache and pencil drawn for Amnesty International (est : 30 000 - 50 000 €) will come under the hammer along with an illustration for the exhibition Bilal - Le Creusot, 2 minutes d’arrêt from 2006 (est : 30 000 - 50 000 €).

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