Watch Idem Paris, David Lynch’s Short Film on the Art of Making Lithographs

Locat­ed in the Mont­par­nasse sec­tion of Paris, the Idem stu­dio was orig­i­nal­ly built by the print­er Emile Dufrenoy in 1880, as a space to house his lith­o­graph­ic press­es. Mov­ing into the next cen­tu­ry, var­i­ous own­ers pre­served the art of lith­o­g­ra­phy, pro­duc­ing lith­o­graphs by the likes of Matisse, Picas­so, Miro, Braque, Cha­gall, Léger, Cocteau, and oth­ers. Today, the tra­di­tion con­tin­ues. And, amaz­ing­ly, the ate­lier still uses 19th cen­tu­ry flatbed machines, pow­ered by a gas steam boil­er, to keep the tra­di­tion of lith­o­g­ra­phy alive. While on a recent trip to Paris, the sur­re­al­ist film­mak­er David Lynch paid a vis­it to Idem and fell in love with what he saw, so much so that he pro­duced a short doc­u­men­tary high­light­ing Idem’s artis­tic process. As a pref­ace to the film, Lynch wrote on the Idem web site:

Hervé Chandès from the Fon­da­tion Carti­er brought me over to Idem and intro­duced me to Patrice For­est. I see this incred­i­ble place, and I get the oppor­tu­ni­ty to work there. And this was like a dream! It just opened up this brand-new world of the lith­o­g­ra­phy and the mag­ic of lith­o­g­ra­phy, the mag­ic of the stones. And it was a great, great thing! This thing of lith­o­g­ra­phy, this chan­nel of lith­o­g­ra­phy opened up and a bunch of ideas came flow­ing out and it led to about a hun­dred lith­o­graphs. I will say that Idem print­ing stu­dio has a unique, very spe­cial mood, and it is so con­ducive to cre­at­ing. Patrice has the great­est atti­tude for all the artists and he cre­ates this space of free­dom and this joy of cre­at­ing. It’s so beau­ti­ful! And I think the place is very important—in oth­er wors, the same stone could be moved to anoth­er place, and I think that the work that comes out would be dif­fer­ent. It’s a com­bi­na­tion of the stone, the place, the peo­ple, this mood, and out comes these cer­tain ideas.

You can find the short film, Idem Paris, list­ed in our col­lec­tion of 525 Free Movies Online. You can also find a primer explain­ing the basics of lith­o­g­ra­phy here.

via Bib­liok­lept

Relat­ed Con­tent: 

Free: The Guggen­heim Puts 65 Mod­ern Art Books Online

Wass­i­ly Kandin­sky Caught in the Act of Cre­ation, 1926

How the CIA Secret­ly Fund­ed Abstract Expres­sion­ism Dur­ing the Cold War

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