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Press Release

Les Fleurs du Mal, A une Mendiante Rousse (To an Auburn-Haired Beggar), 2015
Charcoal and colored pencil on paper, 45.28 x 27.56 inches

Tanino Liberatore
Poetry Interrupted!
October 7 - November 13, 2021


Philippe Labaune Gallery is pleased to present Poetry Interrupted! - an exhibition of paintings and drawings by Italian artist Tanino Liberatore. On view will be paintings the artist created highlighting his infamous 1980s Italian comic series’ protagonist, Ranxerox, a ­­­hyper-masculine cyborg anti-hero that shook the world of comics with themes of sex, drugs, anarchy, and violence. Accompanying Liberatore’s paintings will be a selection of works created by international artists paying homage to the iconic comic book series. Artists include Paul Pope, Jonathan Barravechia, Victor Kalvachev, Olivier Vatine, among others. Also on view will be a selection of eleven large-scale drawings Liberatore made in response to Les Fleurs du Mal (The Flowers of Evil), a collection of poems written by 19th-century French poet, Charles Baudelaire. Poetry Interrupted! will be on view October 7 – November 13, 2021, with an opening reception on Thursday, October 7, 11 AM to 9 PM.  

Ranxerox was originally released in 1982. The two-volume series was drawn by Liberatore and authored by the late Stefano Tamburini. The series follows main characters, Ranx and Lubna, through a strange and perverse world in which Liberatore glamorizes through lush depictions. Ranx feels human passions, but they are simply photocopies. The series turns a mirror onto a modern society, depicting its seedy underbelly. Tanino Liberatore firmly established a strong visual aesthetic in the realm of comics, creating a raw beauty and romanticized decadence of environments and sordid characters.
 

Press Release pt 2

Superatore, 2017
Charcoal and pastel on paper
32.28 x 22.44 inches

On view will be several recent works where Liberatore highlighting his infamous characters. Within the 2017 painting Ranx Regeneration, Liberatore delivers a brightly colored profile of his greatest protagonist, exposing his gears and inner workings within his cranial cavity. A giant speech bubble in the background contains what appears to be an abstracted sky. The imagery is both agitated and surreal. A Magritte on steroids!

In 2015, Liberatore was given an opportunity to be paired with a poet whose sensuous and deviant words were written more than a hundred years ago. Rendered mostly in charcoal, Liberatore completed a series of drawings that were a visual response, and displayed alongside, a publication of Charles Baudelaire’s 1856 collection of poems, Les Fleurs du Mal (The Flowers of Evil). Liberatore’s style of drawing vacillates between frenetic mark making- quickly rendering the curves and shapes of bodies on paper as to not miss a fleeting moment; to smoothly detailed forms that envelop intimate moments. The pairing of Baudelaire’s words to Liberatore’s images bring together two individuals from two different times who relished in the id of a modern society.

Gaetano ‘Tanino’ Liberatore was born in Quadri, Italy, in 1953. He initially studied architecture before turning his pen to comics and illustration. Between 1976 and 1980, his work was published in several magazines, including Cannibale and Il Male, eventually teaming up with Stefano Tamburini to create the series Ranxerox. In 1980, he began working in France regularly contributing to magazines such as L'Écho des Savanes, (À Suivre), and Métal hurlant (Heavy Metal). When his collaborator Stefano Tamburini died in 1986, Liberatore abandoned comics for illustration. In 1990, he illustrated Le Rêve de Lucy by Pierre Pelot. Liberatore revived the Ranxerox character in 1996 with the release of Ranx 3: Amen! with writer and director Alain Chabat. In 2003, Liberatore was given a César Award for Best Costume Design for the film Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra. In 2007, Liberatore created the artwork for Lucy l'Espoir, a prehistoric science fiction graphic novel. His drawings have been exhibited in galleries in Paris, Rome, and Brussels. He currently resides in Paris.

Selected Works

Selected Works Thumbnails

Ranx Regeneration, 2017
Acrylic on canvas
32.28 x 22.44 inches

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Ranx Coupe Mode, 2017
Acrylic on canvas
20.87 x 27.56 inches

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Superatore, 2018
Charcoal and pastel on paper
45.28 x 27.56 inches

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Lubna par la couette, 2017
Charcoal and pastel on paper
23.23 x 16.54 inches

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Untitled, 2009
Charcoal on paper

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Jonathan Barravechia
Homage to Ranxerox, 2021
Mixed media on paper

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Mathieu Reynes
Homage to Ranxerox, 2021
Marker pen, ink wash, and manga weft on paper
19 x 13 inches

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Olivier Vatine
Homage to Ranxerox, 2021
China ink, watercolor, and acrylic on paper
16.54 x 11.73 inches

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Les Fleurs du Mal, Les Phares (The Beacons), 2015
Charcoal on paper
45.28 x 55.12 inches

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Les Fleurs du Mal, La Mort des Amants (The Death of Lovers), 2015
Charcoal and colored pencil on paper
27.56 x 45.28 inches

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Les Fleurs du Mal, L'Albatros (The Albatross), 2015
Charcoal and colored pencil on paper
45.28 x 27.56 inches

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Les Fleurs du Mal, Les Bijoux (The Jewels), 2015
Charcoal on paper
27.56 x 45.28 inches

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Les Fleurs du Mal, A une Mendiante Rousse (To a Beggar Redhead), 2015
Charcoal and colored pencil on paper
45.28 x 27.56 inches

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Les Fleurs du Mal, L'Homme et la Mer (Man and the Sea) (dyptich), 2015
Charcoal and colored pencil on paper
27.56 x 90.55 inches

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Les Fleurs du Mal, Sed Non Siatata, 2015
Charcoal on paper
63.78 x 44.88 inches

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Les Fleurs du Mal, La Beaute (The Beauty), 2015
Colored charcoal on paper
27.56 x 45.28 inches

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Les Fleurs du Mal, Le Flacon (The Perfume Flask), 2014
Charcoal on paper
45.28 x 27.56 inches

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Les Fleurs du Mal, Femmes Damnées (Damned Women), 2015
Charcoal on paper
27.56 x 45.28 inches

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Les Fleurs du Mal, Les Yeux de Berthe (Bertha's Eyes), 2015
Charcoal on paper
23.62 x 36.61 inches

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Ranx Regeneration, 2017
Acrylic on canvas
32.28 x 22.44 inches

Ranx Coupe Mode, 2017
Acrylic on canvas
20.87 x 27.56 inches

Superatore, 2018
Charcoal and pastel on paper
45.28 x 27.56 inches

Lubna par la couette, 2017
Charcoal and pastel on paper
23.23 x 16.54 inches

Untitled, 2009
Charcoal on paper

Jonathan Barravechia
Homage to Ranxerox, 2021
Mixed media on paper

Mathieu Reynes
Homage to Ranxerox, 2021
Marker pen, ink wash, and manga weft on paper
19 x 13 inches

Olivier Vatine
Homage to Ranxerox, 2021
China ink, watercolor, and acrylic on paper
16.54 x 11.73 inches

Les Fleurs du Mal, Les Phares (The Beacons), 2015
Charcoal on paper
45.28 x 55.12 inches

Les Fleurs du Mal, La Mort des Amants (The Death of Lovers), 2015
Charcoal and colored pencil on paper
27.56 x 45.28 inches

Les Fleurs du Mal, L'Albatros (The Albatross), 2015
Charcoal and colored pencil on paper
45.28 x 27.56 inches

Les Fleurs du Mal, Les Bijoux (The Jewels), 2015
Charcoal on paper
27.56 x 45.28 inches

Les Fleurs du Mal, A une Mendiante Rousse (To a Beggar Redhead), 2015
Charcoal and colored pencil on paper
45.28 x 27.56 inches

Les Fleurs du Mal, L'Homme et la Mer (Man and the Sea) (dyptich), 2015
Charcoal and colored pencil on paper
27.56 x 90.55 inches

Les Fleurs du Mal, Sed Non Siatata, 2015
Charcoal on paper
63.78 x 44.88 inches

Les Fleurs du Mal, La Beaute (The Beauty), 2015
Colored charcoal on paper
27.56 x 45.28 inches

Les Fleurs du Mal, Le Flacon (The Perfume Flask), 2014
Charcoal on paper
45.28 x 27.56 inches

Les Fleurs du Mal, Femmes Damnées (Damned Women), 2015
Charcoal on paper
27.56 x 45.28 inches

Les Fleurs du Mal, Les Yeux de Berthe (Bertha's Eyes), 2015
Charcoal on paper
23.62 x 36.61 inches