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27/07/2010

FRANÇOIS MARECHAL: PASSION, INTELLIGENCE AND POETRY

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Compiled by Maria del Mar Bernal, a professor of engraving at the School of Fine Arts at the University of Sevil http://fcom.us.es/blogs/tecnicasdegrabado/

 

                                          

François Maréchal is an active recorders that no lover of the print to be missed. Because of the importance of their work is not surprising that more information about it on the net, so the first post will be to spend only informative to describe the trajectory of his life and his work. However, the beauty and feelings that suggest his woodcuts encourage many more items.
Born in Normandy in 1938 in Evreux. His father taught him to draw the ducks and geese that abound in the lagoons of southwest France, and there may have begun a career that would be dominated by the use of wood engraving. Studied Fine Arts at Le Mans, and in his classes was disciplined ways of Dürer and Goya. The latter, together with a completed military service in Algeria, would influence their horrid scenes of war. In love with a landfall in Spain in Madrid in 1963.

                                                                 

For those you have found a catalog of Japanese Shiko Munakata (1903-1975) and was struck by the simplicity of the shapes and contrasts, made his first woodcut in 1967, "Elder", engraved on a wooden board and printed kitchen hand. Persistent obsession, continued probing to expose in 1968. Since 1975, attracted by the work of Bewick, the wood is also working to head feasting on the precision allows. In 1978 the writer Dimitri Papageorgiou taught to grips with the etching and lithography.
Xylon was a member of France from 1977-1983. In 1984 he made a presentation at the National Library in Madrid and repeated two years later in the Print Room. Thereafter the samples were happening, becoming one of the few contemporary artists who have succeeded only with his role as recorder. In 1991 he was named Academic and divides his work between Madrid and Aix, in Provence.
When you an overview of his work highlights the fusion of two cultures among which they live. Without wishing to fall into the topic, can be summarized in one snatched his passion in the form of address, and look, life and a more rigorous Mediterranean Gaul. As rightly said Jose Hierro: "It is a Frenchman transplanted to Spain. Conceived as a visionary, but done with ease, without outbursts, with total clarity. "(AA.VV. Marechal, 1994). In short, a wise and inevitable reconciliation of opposites, like white and black of their work.

 

                                                                                  

 

His work up some 2,000 separate sheets engraved plates or bibliophile editions: Los Libertadores, Apollinaire's Bestiary, The Apocalypse of St. John, The Will of D. Quixote de Quevedo, Homage to Rembrandt, The Breast on texts by Ramon Gomez de la Serna so on. Cuchilllas, chisels, gouges, chisels, awls, scrapers, polishers and dry points operated on linoleum, beech, pear, boxwood, mountain ash, maple, copper and steel that come to life in the small press or print woodcut. A pure writer, a sample of ways, a catalog of techniques for any student of graphic and appearance of your instruments, one of the few contemporary examples commitment to a form of expression in which most artists find more problems than advantages. And all this being "very old and very modern" (Bonet, op.cit.)

                              

By choosing embossing, white and black, and the simplification of form are the elements at its disposal to tell their dramatic vision of reality. In fact intaglio techniques soften the representations. There is a predominance in the choice of topics, although almost everyone unites a bitter feeling of life. Its safe and impetuous stroke combined with technical excellence neater. In the preface to an exhibition at the gallery in Madrid Tórculo the artist would say "What is rare and valuable is finding freedom in a single work in science, sobriety with substance, intelligence and love of poetry with beautiful materials and compliance with good tools, "a phrase which is exactly how they work.
In 1994 he published a catalog with all their recorded work to date, seen as an edition of prints: 505 copies were published, 50 of them signed by hand and 5 are not venal. This book, with contributions as prestigious as those of Bonet Correa, Jose Hierro and Claude Bouret, among others, is so far the most comprehensive collection reasoned graphic and beautiful (from 1967-1994). I rely on him to make a description of the iconography that is proposed in thematic blocks. Thus we find:

                                                                                                                   

BESTIARIO snails, squirrels, deer, horses, buffaloes, dogs, exotic animals, owls, crows, toucans, wrens, hawks, magpies, owls, pheasants, hawks, swans, pelicans, roosters, jays ... It is a record of animals in the evidenced a clear predominance of birds. Some are depicted with a high degree of detail and above, even under the strictest classification of Linnaeus: Thos latrans, Lacerta muralis, Polistes bimaculatus. Encyclopedic desire contrasts with a clear sense of humor in the representation of fleas.
BULLS: in the square in the field, with bullfighters, black in color, in parts, and complete. The elaboration of detail in the animal's fur and costumes take you to choose from new intaglio techniques.
WORLD AND SOCIETY: iconological group is more attractive. Barring exceptional cases, the prints are a portrait of the darker side of life. Feelings of pain, fear and anguish reflected in scenes of exiled, tortured, flayed, hanged and punished. Consequence of capitalist injustice, prostitution and abuse of rough and uncertainties. Amid all this suffering are sad ballet slippers and a balloon gay strip recorder prints by Rembrandt and Munch.

                                              

DEATH: once again an act of rebellion harsh and biting: anger, exodus, torture, execution. Scavengers feast, dogs destroyed, pieces of life in formaldehyde jars, skeletons tied and burned bodies. Abject art, in short, inquisitive and virulent. Within this classification there is a nicer set of prints, both in the topic as the appearance of color, belonging to the series of The Testament of D. Quixote.
LONELINESS, OLD AGE: This is a set of woodcuts to the fiber in which the design highlights the wood grain. They are very beautiful pictures, astonishing in its content, crazy, obsessed, paralyzed, amnesic, blind people frightened by his own alienation. The harshness of life represented in various shades.

                                                                 

FACES AND PORTRAITS: from the simplest to the most elaborate. They are anonymous people or great scientific thinkers, artists, writers and liberators: Galileo, Zenon, Tolstoy, Bolivar, Marti, Gorki, Peridikis, Marechal himself, Dali, Giacometti, Victor Hugo or Valle Inclán. Continues to denounce the barbarism in the appearance of a mother in May that contrasts with the affects everyday and the exotic with a portrait of Kung Fu and nearly a dozen heads of Indians. Special mention has Gallery recorders of all times: Durer, Holbein, Rembrandt, Breughel, Goltzius, Posada, Hokusai, Cranach, Toulouse Lautrec, Molinari, Nolde, José Hernández, Villalba, Alcorlo, Oliete ... In the dry and tips chisels proliferate in the female portraits that captures the beauty of hair.

                                                        

CREED, MYTHOLOGY: religious prints treated from the point of view of suffering and pain. Includes The Apocalypse of St. John, a superb book about an artist from gouachs of Winternitz, an artist who had composed numerous windows for churches in Peru, Austria and Spain. The 23 compositions needed 267 engraved plates, as there are 12 and 13 colors each. An example of creative freedom to the demands of the performance. Are also portraits of pagan mythology as Icarus or Tantalus, with a level of unprecedented architectural description. Other fabulous characters round out the rest of the prints.
HANDS: Hands tied behind his back, hands tied in front, hands begging, fighting, waiting to be cut, burned, hands that have managed to prevail triumphant and destroy, hands struggling with the fence, or winning on it "(Raul Chavarri, Op Cit).
HOMAGE TO REMBRANDT: compositions from the artist's engravings Dutchman. Recreational exercise species in which the line becomes very important that are made.
EROTISM: beautiful pictures on female desire and pleasure, love represented in related anger or beautiful, erotic and explicit images in the eyes of the characters and the audience plays a crucial role.

                                           

BREAST: Sixteen suggestive contrafibra woodcuts to illustrate the text of Ramon Gomez de la Serna by the same title.
NATURE: includes various botanical subjects in which the representation of the raw plant, either in colorful vases or in many lush forests of all species.
EX LIBRIS: in the latter group the small format is imposed. They are usually treated with the technique of wood engraving to the head in a fun game of symbolism and psychology as it represents the owner. The ex libris of the author can be classified in the most categorical erotic genre.
With this article I intend to share the enjoyment produced by contemplation of his prints and on the way to encourage the dissemination and study of his work. I heard of this artist for the first time when I was a student in the class of Dimitri, which I always understood the name Maréchal synonymous with woodcut. I highlighted today by the professionalism with which exerts its work, now almost 44 years, which have led him to work in the most prestigious museums and libraries in the world and be an example for all recorders.

                                                       

Finally, I quote some links where you can see more about his biography and some extra images, although their enormous amount of work required the development of a page that gives her the visibility and promotion that it deserves. You will find his biography on this page to exlibris , photos of superb portraits in this blog, the presentation to him by the recorder also García-Ochoa in the Bulletin of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, on the occasion of an exhibition of his in 1986, newspaper articles (you must enter the Marechal Marechal key Neruda and bookplates), 91 works listed in Town of painting (look at the letter M for list of authors) more prints at the Taller del Prado ... For my part I have chosen some engravings and photos of the artist and I uploaded to Flickr.
[Sources: all the information for the purpose of this entry comes from the catalog that I quote above and another published by the Deputation of Zaragoza on the occasion of an exhibition of "the mezzotint engravings on copper," held in the hall in 2003 Zuloaga ( Fuendetodos). I want to thank the author himself has sent me these beautiful and valuable documents and to value the generosity and affection with which it shares its work.]

 

 


Maria del Mar Bernal (professor of engraving at the School of Fine Arts, University of Seville)

http://tecnicasdegrabado.es/2010/francois-marechal-pasion-inteligencia-y-poesia

 



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