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Rouge Limite

Rouge Limite, 1988, Carborundum Print
James Coignard (French, 1925 – 2008)

James Coignard, acknowledged as one of the greatest painter-etchers of his time, was born in Tours, France in 1925. He studied at École des Arts Décoratifs in Nice and apprenticed under the painter Marchand des Raux. Coignard’s technical turning point occurred in 1968 when his friend Henri Goetz invented the carborundum etching technique. It then became central in Coignard’s work as he put, “The possibilities of reliefs, of blisters in the material and the lacquer, of grains of sand and glue eclipsed everything else.”

Carborundum is an abrasive powder that renders possible to etch in relief instead of in hollows. The printing of carborundum engravings produces more pronounced reliefs and gives the prints a sense of painterly touch. It is done with a paintbrush in order to make the ink enter thoroughly into a material that absorbs it much more than an aquatint engraving. The wiping is done with the tarlatan and sometimes the bare hand. The pressure is regulated in the same way as for line engraving.

Donated by Kenneth and Sherri Nahan