We are excited to bring new works by Diane de Bournazel, the internationally-renowned French book artist, to the 2021 Salon du Livre Rare in Paris
This will be the largest gathering of Diane de Bournazel’s books to date, with 10 recent works exhibited. Diane’s work has found admirers all over the world and is represented in both private and public collections. She will be present with us at the the Salon.
Immediately recognisable, her works push the boundaries of the codex form to their limits without ever losing sight of the tradition and technology of the book. Filled to the utmost with her characteristic iconography, each book is an adventure in time and space. As a recent reviewer puts it, they ‘semble contenir dans ses collages tous les secrets et experiences de la vie’ (Christophe Dorny, Gazette du Drouot, September 2021).
Please join us for this very special exhibition at the Grand Palais Éphémère, Paris
24 – 26 septembre 2021
About the Artist:
Born in Paris in 1956, Diane de Bournazel grew up in Toulouse, the United Kingdom and Italy. She showed a passion for art from an early age and resolved to dedicate her life to it in 1975. She is largely self-taught. Her earliest works, in the form of large portraits drawn from photographs, show the influence of Ernest Pignon-Ernest, but she soon turned to abstraction in the spirit of Klee and De Staël. In 1985 she moved to the Corrèze, the region of the Limousin from which her family originated, before relocating to Paris in 1990. There in the capital she found herself short of both time and space, leading her to adopt the format of the miniature. With ink and watercolour she filled the pages of many notebooks. Thus was born the unique and profoundly personal universe of Diane de Bournazel.
1995 marked a second and definitive move to Corrèze. she found the ideal place for her creative language to flourish and it was here she pursued her protean practice as a painter (on canvas, slate, glass…), illustrator and engraver. The artist moves freely from one medium to another: from painting to sculpture, from monotype print to tapestry, always in a manner both patient and minute.
In all this the book holds a place apart for Diane de Bournazel. Combining drawing, painting, papercutting and collage, her books emerge like sculpture or medieval illumination. Within them — as in her day-to-day environment, surrounded with objects freighted with meaning — the artist demonstrates an aversion to empty space. Everything is a source of inspiration, but her rich visual repertoire, mysterious and magical, occupies the smallest of physical spaces. The images have the density of a forest and every page offers continual discoveries and new surprises, poised between marvel and introspection, between levity and gravity. Deeply personal, Diane de Bournazel’s books invite interaction, inspiring both dreams and meditation with a kind of poetry in which form has replaced words.
In this truly organic work, it is the sense of line which dominates. Fluid like music and with the movement of dance, the artist applies to each page motifs with a simple and universal appearance, immediately comprehensible by all. Her characteristic palette draws on sober, natural ink shades anchored firmly in the earth, but is enlivened by the vivacity of distinctive blues, reds and yellows. Thick handmade paper becomes evanescent in the hands of Diane de Bournazel. Windows cut into the superimposed layers of successive pages often allow us to see in these books both their beginning and their end simultaneously, throwing into question received notions of narrative, time and space.
Passionate about poetry, Diane de Bournazel regularly collaborates with poets in her published books. She has also worked in the world of children’s books. Her artist’s books, however, are all unique.
(Valerie Douniaux, trans. Justin Croft)