From the Atelier Rémond (1793) to the Atelier Mutel (2008): Past and Future of an Engraving Studio in Paris

Thursday, April 18, 2013
4:00 pm PDT

William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
2520 Cimarron Street

Clark Quarterly Lecture

—given by Dider Mutel, artist, author, bookmaker

co-sponsored by UCLA Library Special Collections


In 2013 Didier Mutel re-opens the historical etching studio “the Atelier Georges Leblanc,” originally founded in Paris, 1793, by M. Rémond. This lecture addresses and attempts to answer questions such as: what meaning, what potential, what rationale does 18th-century engraving have in a 21st-century world? Beyond the formal contemplation of the Atelier’s material treasures and artifacts, by what means can we understand the links between traditional techniques and today’s world? Is it worth considering such questions? What relationship can be developed between printing tools from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and today’s cutting edge technologies? How can a positive relationship between these elements be generated to open our field to a wider audience? We are, right now, in a transition period with many challenging goals in front of us. By redefining new processes and new aesthetic paradigms, we re-establish the heritage of the engraving studio for many more years, and many more creations.

Didier Mutel was born in 1971. He has always been actively involved in the arts and is especially enthusiastic about engraving. In 1986 he entered the École Estienne in Paris where he trained in the traditional methods and techniques of the book arts, including etching, engraving, calligraphy, and bookbinding. In 1988 he joined Pierre Lallier in the Atelier Leblanc, the oldest engraving studio in Paris, founded in 1793. In 1991 he began producing and exhibiting his first artist book: Oiseaux. Since then, about fifty artist books have appeared from his press. His work always explores the links between traditional techniques and contemporary applications. In 2008 the Atelier Leblanc was evicted from its longtime home, and Pierre Lallier transferred the historic studio to Didier Mutel, which he re-opens in fall 2013.