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Exhibitions

The MNAC presents the work of Catalan Jordi Longaron and his Friday Foster, the first black comic book heroine

From his home in Barcelona, Longaron created a character that broke taboos and became a pop icon in the United States

The MNAC presents the work of Catalan Jordi Longaron and his Friday Foster, the first black comic book heroine
bonart barcelona - 20/03/24

The Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC) hosts the small-format exhibition Longaron and Friday Foster, the unexpected heroine, until June 24. The exhibition, curated by Marc Longaron and Alex Mitrani, gathers around fifty original strips of the famous comic character created by cartoonist Jordi Longaron in the 1970s and published with great success in the American press.

In 1970, The Chicago Tribune Syndicate hired the Catalan Jordi Longaron (1933-2019) to draw their new weekly comic series scripted by Jim Lawrence.

In a country marked by racial conflicts and the struggle for civil rights, Friday Foster is a brave, independent and daring African-American detective photographer who transcends the taboos of the time, a disruptive character, who caused controversy and rejection in certain sectors. She became the first African-American protagonist of a syndicated strip, and thanks to this she was published in numerous newspapers in the United States, from Los Angeles to New York. Although she was censured in southern newspapers when her African-American identity was discovered, and uncomfortable in northern newspapers as a woman seeking professional success and emotional independence, she showed that there was room for to the female characters beyond the roles that were attributed to them at the time. Fifty years later it remains a key piece to understanding the social and cultural transformation that brought about the blaxploitation genre. The strips were published until 1974 but their unexpected success catapulted the character into the cinema.

Longaron, who only traveled once to New York, evokes a dreamy America, the one of cinema and television, of glamor and seduction, which hid conflicts and inequalities. The character he draws with agile and dynamic graphics defines a new myth within Black Power.

This small-format exhibition continues the work of historical recovery and patrimonial vindication of comics as an artistic genre and as one of the key manifestations of contemporary culture, as the National Museum previously did with exhibitions such as El Víbora, countercultural comic ( 2019) or with the addition of works to the Museum's collections on a regular and ongoing basis.

Jordi Longaron (1933 – 2019) worked for artistic agencies drawing comics and illustrating novel covers. In 1970 he was the first Spanish cartoonist to debut on the American market. He often worked with the brush, with an agile and suggestive gesture, making very expressive use of black. His stroke is very dynamic and expressive and his work is an excellent example of the narrative and evocative capacity of the comic.

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