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Sempé in New York

The entire collection of the New Yorker’s covers of Sempé, among which are many unpublished drawings, is now available for the first time. Complete with a long interview where he tells about his wondering though the big apple in search of inspiration and when and how he discovered the existence of The New Yorker---this legendary, far, charming magazine.


Masterpieces of the ephemeral, Sempé's drawings are made of little more than nothing. The richness of the apparent ephemeral details reveal the hidden essence of people and places. They tell the joy of living in a unique city.


Little and big crowds, gigantic and defeating skyscrapers, jazzmen, crowded parks, but also silent rooms, surprising loneliness, enchanted gardens---a thousand views where the eye of the artist lies, all together showing the life and places of the city that never sleeps.

Sempé in New York


Jean-Jacques Sempé, usually known as JJ (August 17, 1932 – August 11, 2022), was a French cartoonist. He is known for his poster-like illustrations, usually drawn from a distant or high perspective and depicting detailed country landscapes or cities. For decades, he created covers for The New Yorker.


When Sempé passed away at the age of eighty-nine, French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted, “[He] had the grace to always remain light-hearted without ever missing a beat.” The tribute was one of many from both sides of the Atlantic; he was the rare Gallic artist who was beloved by Americans but managed to never lose his appeal in the eyes of his compatriots.

The writer Charles McGrath once compared him to Brigitte Bardot, saying, “He’s a national institution who has acquired an almost universal appeal by remaining quintessentially French.”

The New Yorker

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