- About Albuisson
- Awards Won (MOF)
- France 2006-2010
- Monaco 1986-1989
- Monaco 2006-2010
Overseas Domains &
- New Caledonia
- TAAF 1997-2000
- TAAF 2001-2005
- TAAF 2006-2010
- The Author
The black print is an indirect printing method, also known as
mezzotinto, which was invented in the 17th century, and was at its peak in the 18th
century. It is done on a copper plate, that has been prepared on all its surface
with different tools. The printed result shows a large range of colour values,
from white over various shades of grey, to jet black. The final result will be
like a sharp black/white photograph.
In the first stage a special instrument, named "berceau",
is used. By balancing this tool differently it produces small dots of different
sizes that are engraved on the all the surface of the metal. If the plate is
printed in this first stage, the result would appear in a velvety jet black
colour. At a later stage, the grey and white parts are produced in a similar
way. Being all mechanic, without the use of chemicals, this simple technique is
also highly ecological.
The black print gives the engraver conditions that are much
similar to those of the designer using his pencil, and both the engraving and
the sketching will produce extremely fine results.
The fundamental difference
between the two techniques is that the engraver starts his work in the dark, and
works his way to the lighter shades, whereas the designer starts his work on
white paper, and gradually works his way to the darkest shades.
"La Ronde Sauvage" Pierre Albuisson clarifies and affirms the
symbolic dimension of his works: the immaculate, aristocratic lace
handkerchief holds the black-berry, the fruit of the poor and the vagrant,
which by its trace of bluish-black tint reminds one of its importance to
this omnipresent light contrasts are duly born:
an image of living matter born of nature and inanimate material,
embroidered by human hand which gives it life, and which gives them both an
- Pierre Albuisson: Mezzotinto engraving of an embroidered handkerchief
containing black-berries. Scan © Pierre Albuisson.
Albuisson tells, that
when I was 17 years old, I was working on
the extraordinary, the phantom-like delusions. My point of departure was
automated writing, mental images, nature, and I found the equivalent of nature.
I closed the first circle. Then I realized a fantastic work coming
from a natural source, that could pass into the imaginary world. I closed the
I liked Roger Caillois and his extraordinary rationale,
and his mental base in generalized poetics; the same postulations, the same
steps that organize the inert matter, the hardness of science, the source of
I read his books and said to myself that I must meet this guy.
He expresses in literature what I am searching for in my designs. Albuisson set
out to arrange a meeting with Roger Caillois, where he got to know his universal
spirit familiar with zoology and folk tales inspired by Montesquieu and the
phantom literature. This first meeting was the beginning of a great friendship
between the two men, and Caillois simply adored my black prints,
telling that they had "that inexplicable spirit" that enlightens the
darkness of the night.
Pierre Albuisson: Engraved black print of Roger Caillois
(1913-1978). Scan © Pierre Albuisson.
Pierre Albuisson: "Will-o'-the-wisp. Homage to Roger
Caillois". This work was awarded the prestigious Rank Xerox Prize for
engraving in black print. Scan © Pierre Albuisson.
Roger Caillois wrote in "Le Monde" the 28th
Picasso, the Liquidator
Since Picasso broke with the "Art of Painting", this never
came back to normal. The predecessors of Picasso were happy to reproduce
nature, rectifying or forcing it to suit their needs. They accentuated any
character, but kept the resemblance.
Picasso refused angrily to paint anything that nature was unable to
produce. (...) He separates body and face in a way that they obviously
cannot respond to the slightest necessity, or even a minor organic
(Extract from an article by Roger Caillois).
Pierre Albuisson wrote:
Most of the trends in contemporary art are more connected with psychiatric
disorders than art, and are most often nothing more than artistic fumbles.
Mezzotinto engravings may be found as illustrations to a large number of
books from the 19th century, notably the works of Edgar Allan Poe.
The work shown on the left is an engraving by burin. Engraving on copper
plate sized 44,5 * 69,5 cm, printed on paper Arches 56,5 * 76,5 cm.
showpiece reunites the fantastic collection of engraved works,
and "L'enraciné" -- the old dead tree engraved for a rebirth --
represents the stunning coming together of black and white which transcends the
dynamics of the work surpass the symbolism of the figurative motif of the tree --
it reaches up to this light that has been present since the first fantastic
works and discovers its continuity in the tree.
perceives the transition of the fictitious world of the imaginative to that of
the figurative design which in Pierre Albuisson's own words can be described as
- Pierre Albuisson: Traditional burin engraving of the "Old Dead Tree". Scan
© Pierre Albuisson.
Top of page