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Item Name: Print
Title: Untitled
Maker: Françoise Labbé
Year: 1965
Country: Canadian
Materials: etching
Measurements: in frame: 63 cm x 75 cm; work: 40 cm x 49.5 cm
ID Number: ART 005
Legal Status: ART RENTAL

Extended Label Info: This etching was made by Françoise Labbé during her time at Atelier 17, the celebrated print studio in Paris. Established by S. W. Hayter, the central philosophy of this studio was the belief that printmaking could be more than a "reproductive" art; it could be a medium for creative expression. It was a collaborative atmosphere as techniques, imagery, and methods were freely shared by the studio artists. In addition to intaglio techniques (etching, engraving, and drypoint), they developed new methods of printing, such as soft-ground etching, and simultaneous color printing. Hayter also incorporated ideas from Surrealism, such as developing imagery through “psychic automatism”, a method of drawing without conscious planning. This image by Labbé is an example of simultaneous color printing. In this process, the printmaking plate is incised with grooves and textures at different depths. Inks composed of different oils are then applied to the plate. The variation in inks and methods of application allow the artist to apply several colors to the plate in a controlled manner. Then, paper is placed over the printing plate, and both are rolled through a press. The result is a multi-coloured image printed in one pass through the press. Françoise Labbé CQ (1933-2001) was born in Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec. She studied art at the École des beaux-arts de Québec (1951-55), and in 1962, she moved to Paris for graduate studies at Atelier 17 with the innovative printmaker Stanley William Hayter. During the 1960s, Labbé exhibited in several notable exhibitions, including “Réalités nouvelles à Paris” (1967) ; the Seattle Biennial (1966); Krakow Biennial in Poland (1966); Ljubljana Biennale in Yugoslavia (1965). In 1974, she returned to Baie-Saint-Paul. An active member of the arts community, she spear-headed the development of an art school, the Center d'art de Baie-Saint-Paul, and in 1979, she became the center’s first artistic director. In 1982 Labbé created the annual Symposium of young painting in Canada. She also developed the Baie-Saint-Paul Exhibition Center which opened in 1992. In 1993, her work in the arts was recognized with a medal from the National Assembly, and in 1997 she was awarded the Chevalier de l'Ordre national du Québec.