Maître d’art Didier Mutel Lectures at SMU
*Lectures are free and open to the public
French Maître d’art Didier Mutel to Speak at SMU April 7 and 8, 2022
The book artist, engraver and printer Didier Mutel, who has been making books and engraved prints since 1988, is also an instructor at the Institut Supérieur Des Beaux Arts, Besançon, France, where he is training the next generation of engravers and book artists. Didier’s dual role in the world of engraving as both a printer and a teacher has led him to think carefully about the history of engraving as well as its future.
His first talk will address the history of his atelier (founded in 1793), contextualizing its activities from 1793-present. He will further touch on the history of the artist book in France to 1991. This talk will take place at the Smith Auditorium of the Meadows Museum from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, 2022.
Using concrete examples of his work held by Bridwell Library Special Collections, Mutel’s second talk will address the production of artist books in his own studio practice – a practice which, since 1988, has sought to redefine the parameters of printmaking and artist books, incorporating historical perspective and awareness with modern-day technique and forward-looking methodology. This talk will take place in the Blue Room of Bridwell Library from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Friday, April 8, 2022.
ATELIER DIDIER MUTEL
Founded in 1793, ATELIER DIDIER MUTEL is the oldest etching studio in France. From a historical and artistic point of view it represents centuries of knowledge and a very high level of handcraft production. The studio is well recognized in France and abroad. The studio is highly specialized in traditional etching and printing processes, from conceptualization through to the final execution. Through very specific projects the workshop mixes traditional techniques and skills with contemporary techniques. The aim is to reopen the artistic field of etching and to carry on very challenging projects. Didier Mutel apprenticed to the studio in 1988, joining there his master Pierre Lallier who ran it from 1968 to 2008. The studio moved from Paris to the Jura and after 5 years of renovation and its grand opening took place in 2014.
DIDIER MUTEL has been producing artists books and engravings since 1989. Born in 1971, he entered the Ecole Estienne at 15, then studied at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, and continued his studies at the l’Atelier National de Création Typographique à l’Imprimerie Nationale. From 1997 to 1999, Didier Mutel was in residence at the Villa Medici in Rome where he produced two collaborative books. In 2008, the Atelier Georges Leblanc closed, and Pierre Lallier transferred a significant portion of the historical equipment to Didier Mutel. In 2009, Didier Mutel purchased space in Orchamps in the Jura, where he reinstalled the workshop. Since 2003 Mutel has been teaching at the Institut Supérieur des Beaux Arts of Besançon and is regularly invited by American universities for presentations and special courses.
ATELIER DIDIER MUTEL is a Member of the Grands Ateliers de France, and in 2013 Didier Mutel received the prestigious title of Maître d’art. Most recently, he was awarded the Prix Liliane Bettencourt pour l’Intelligence de la Main, a juried prize for “exceptional talent” that recognized his recent book, R217A (2016), as a work “resulting from a perfect mastery of techniques and savoir-faire of artistic craft” as well as demonstrating “innovation, and contributing to the evolution of this knowledge.” His most recent work includes the monumental The First Atlas of The United States of Acid (2017), Sidereus Nuncius (2018), Melencholia (2021), and the ongoing series, The Birds of Acid (2019- ).