Jean Jullien will explore happiness in first solo European museum show

Alongside intimate paintings of vacations and strolls, the artist will share his observations on the walls of the Mima.

2 June 2023


Jean Jullien is heading to the Mima in Brussels for a solo museum exhibition (his first in Europe). The theme behind the exhibition is the search for happiness; through a selection of images and memories, the illustrator and artist will invite audiences into instances when life proved precious for him, at walks and at the seaside. Studiolo will also focus on Jullien’s trademark taste for combining images and words by including written comments from the artist.

Most of the paintings will show anonymous figures. The idea is to let audiences’ easily substitute the silhouettes for their own friends and family. All sorts of compositional tricks, like zoomed-out landscapes, will be used to encourage audiences to fill in scenes with their own memories. A selection of portraits will feature alongside the landscape works.


Jean Jullien: Mima, Studiolo (Copyright © Mima /Jean Jullien, 2023)

Jean Jullien is known for his original takes on everyday life just as much as his famous commissions for The New Yorker and large-scale public installations, often showing a character interacting playfully with existing surroundings. Last year the illustrator published his first monograph with Phaidon; it was split into three sections – Personal, Collaboration and Public – to represent the many areas of his practice.

Studiolo promises to zero in on the Personal section even further. “As you walk through the exhibition space, you will encounter painted comments adorning the walls, responding to and conversing with the surrounding works,” a release says. “Each commentary, carefully crafted and harmoniously integrated, offers a glimpse into the artist’s thoughts, observations and reflections.” The exhibition will run from 30 June until 31 December.

GalleryJean Jullien: Mima, Studiolo (Copyright © Jean Jullien, 2023)

Hero Header

Jean Jullien: Mima, Studiolo (Copyright © Jean Jullien, 2023)

Share Article

About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. In January 2023, they became associate editor, predominantly working on partnership projects and contributing long-form pieces to It’s Nice That. Contact them about potential partnerships or story leads.

It's Nice That Newsletters

Fancy a bit of It's Nice That in your inbox? Sign up to our newsletters and we'll keep you in the loop with everything good going on in the creative world.