Vaud – What a pleasure to find Burki’s drawings!

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An exhibition, a book and even a digital platform make us rediscover the talent of the designer of “24 hours”, who died in 2016.

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Raymond Burki, in photo and in statuette, in the exhibition dedicated to him at Espace Arlaud in Lausanne.

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There are also self-portraits.

There are also self-portraits.

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Sometimes, if we zoom in, happy.

Sometimes, if we zoom in, happy.

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There was never a word higher than the other in Raymond Burki. Besides, there was never a word at all (or almost). This was one of the great strengths of the man who drew for the Vaudois daily “24 heures” for almost 40 years. He managed each time to hit the mark without having to explain, without words. And his other major asset was the virtuosity of his line. Because Burki not only understood the world around him and knew how to show us its absurdity, its excesses or its derisory sufficiency, but in addition, under his pencils, he made it more beautiful.

Died at the age of 67 in 2016, just two years after retiring, Burki left behind some 8,000 drawings, almost all of which appeared in one, two or der of the Vaudois newspaper. A gold mine of this king of the pencil that the general public will be able to discover or rediscover thanks to an exhibition, a book and a digital platform. Burki is in the limelight like never before, a shame for someone who was very shy.

To make the gallery laugh

The exhibition, first of all, takes place from January 21 to April 10 in the magnificent Espace Arlaud in Lausanne. On four floors, we discover some 500 of his drawings, to be admired in an intelligent and airy scenography. Pure happiness, we had never seen Burki in such a setting, it feels good. Information on the space website.

There is also a book coming out in parallel, which could have been a catalog of the exhibition but is much more than that in the end: an “Aburkicédaire”. Raymond Burki had arranged, if one dares to say so, his 8000 drawings in shoe boxes, undated and uncaptioned. His wife Catherine and his son Stan did a lot of classification work, which then made it possible to select nearly 450 drawings to trace the full extent of Burki’s talent. From “money” to “zoo” to “army” (which he hated so much). Brélaz, Couchepin and so many others, it is not only a retrospective of 40 years of news that we find, but also a rare finesse of mind.

Burki was incisive, sometimes cruel, rebellious when necessary, often mocking but never mean and the texts which accompany the drawings, signed by the journalists Marie-Madeleine Gabioud and Jean-Philippe Jutzi, teach us more about his fads and annoyances. The editors of “24 hours” with whom he worked draw his portrait at work while the other cartoonists (press or not) weave his praises.

“Burki: Aburkicédaire”, Fondation du Trait, 176 pages, on sale in bookstores from January 24, from the 21st at the expo.

For those who want more, they can not only have more, but downright everything Burki. His family has indeed worked with an EPFL start-up to create a platform of all his drawings, digitized. Accessible to all today under letrait.ch, it works like a search engine. Type keywords (like Blocher or cow) and you will get the works that the designer has devoted to the subject. A real treasure for school use in particular, but not only. In short, we are not going to draw you a picture, but rush in one way or another on those of the great Raymond!

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