EXEM, 40 years of posters | Ville de Carouge

EXEM, 40 years of posters

Dernière mise à jour: 27.06.2019
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Forty years of creation, more than 600 posters and special editions on the clock: Exem is one of the most talented and fertile representatives of this movement of poster designers to have made their mark on the last third of the 20th century in Geneva and continues to brighten the walls of the canton. Exem has even become its symbol with the legendary octopus that sprang up from the lakeside to defend the Pâquis Baths. The Museum of Carouge wishes to mark this anniversary with a retrospective of this exceptional graphic and artistic work.

A selection of some sixty posters amongst the artist’s most significant works is being shown. They are grouped in four major themes that characterise the work of the artist: an architectural journey from the Alhambra to the Théatre de Carouge, passing by the Museum of Art and History or the Museum of Ethnography; his dedication to cultural, association, and sporting events; his political and social commitment, in particular through his creations in the context of voting and referendums; and finally, the subtle play of reference, the nods and allusions that are the foundation of his work, whether he chooses to focus on comic strips, literature, painting, cinema, history or myths.

The creative process is explained through various examples, from the initial project to its final printed version, through sketches, abandoned ideas, pencil sketches, the final drawing executed with Indian ink and the colour enhancement. In parallel to the Museum exhibition, the Séries Rares gallery in Carouge, managed by Exem and his wife Mireille Excoffier, presents the La Valse des géants (The Waltz of the Giants), a broad selection of works executed between 2015 and 2017. Simultaneously, under the same banner the eighth and last volume of the descriptive catalogue of Exem’s posters, edited by Ariel Herbez is shown.


1951 Emmanuel Excoffier is born in Geneva.
1971-1978 Maturité (college degree) in Latin, and unfinished studies in Political Economics.
1973-1986 Technician at the Théatre de Poche («Pocket Theatre»), then at the Comédie
1978 First poster for the bookshop Malle folle («Crazy suitcase»).
1982 Realisation as an autodidact of the comic strip l’Oeil de Pallas (Pallas’ Eye) which appears as a regular feature in Tout va Bien Hebdo marking the real start of his career as a designer.
1983 Publication, again in TVB Hebdo, of the mini-narrative Le Jumeau Maléfique («The Evil Twin»).
1985 Publication of Zinzin Maïtre du Monde (Master of the World) as a hardback mini-album.
1988 First poster, global format, for a public vote, Non à la destruction des Bains de Pâquis («No to the destruction of the Pâquis baths»).
1990-2013 General information lecture on comic strips at the School of Librarians-Documentalists, then at the Haute Ecole de gestion (High School of Management).
1991 First works for La Coulou, the association dedicated to help the homeless, a collaboration that is still in existence today and symbolises his social commitment and Long-term loyalty towards his clients.
1995 Won the media prize «Canard» at the International Comic Strip Festival of Sierre.
1995-1996 A series of drawings picturing current events on a weekly basis in the Tribune de Genève.
1996 Winner of the Scenario Prize awarded by the Geneva Committee for the 150th anniversary of the Swiss Confederation, for les Héritiers du serpent, designed by Enrico Marini.
2004-2005 Major retrospective exhibition Exem à tout vent (Villa Bernasconi, Papiers Gras, Geneva Municipal
Libraries) and a monograph with the same title written by Ariel Herbez.
2010 Swiss Romande prize for creation in the category «Publicity – Posters» and 2nd prize in the category«Publicity – media» for two of the four posters Live well, fly Baboo created for Saatchi and Saatchi. Opening of the gallery Séries Rares managed by Exem and Mireille Excoffier in Eaux-Vives.
2012 Relocation of the gallery Séries Rares to Carouge.
2014 Le Grand Plongeon (The Big Dive), first exhibition and first volume of the descriptive catalogueof Exem’s posters.
2018 Eighth volume of the catalogue and publication of the box set containing the eight opuses.


    Wednesday 7th February and Wednesday 14th March at 6.30pm
    Tours guided by the artist
    Duration: about 50 minutes
    Free entry, limited places available.
    Wednesday 31st January and 7th February between 2pm and 3.45pm (non-stop)
    Workshop for all (accompanied children and adults) with Christian Humbert-Droz and his team
    How does this printing technique which Exem likes so much work? How to superimpose colours so that they are so
    bright? Helping to understand the different stages in screen printing, this workshop will be the opportunity to print
    one of Exem’s designs and take home a unique copy.
    Free entry.
    Saturday 3rd March and Sunday 4th March
    Simultaneous vernissages in the galleries of Carouge and exceptional opening of the Museum from 11am to 6pm


Exem’s posters from 2015 to 2017
from 25th january to 25th march 2018
Series Rares Gallery
Rue Vautier 15
1227 Carouge
Wednesday from 2.30pm to 6pm
Thursday and friday from 2.30pm to 7pm
Saturday from 11am to 5pm
and by appointment
Free entry.