Francoise Gilot - Deluxe Book of Poems

After returning to Los Angeles from France in 1973 the artist June Wayne interviewed Francois Gilot and asked her what she had been doing in Paris, to which she replied "I was finishing a book of lithographs illustrating my own poems. That was something I was very happy to do. I did something to please myself... these poems were partly about lithograph, about drawing and about painting so I thought if the painter thinks about their own medium why shouldn’t there be an example about what he or she does." The book of lithographs and poems she was referring to was called "Sur La Pierre" or "On the Stone" published by Montcalm Galleries in Michigan.

Almost 30 years earlier Francois had personally witnessed the creation of JAZZ by Henri Matisse, arguably the greatest Deluxe book of the modern era (see JAZZ exhibit Online Exhibits in the main menu), combining prose and his color cut outs using an arduous stencil technique in a new and unique way never before seen.

Francoise' own Deluxe Book with poems she had compiled over several decades, is a testament to her admiration of the French masters of the Deluxe book (especially Matisse) and to her passion and affinity for the medium of color lithography and the written word. Her talent as an artist and a writer (both in prose and poetry) is unparalleled and frequently under appreciated. 

Sur La Pierre includes a massive 12 color lithographs and  23 poems (included in the exhibit are all 6 poems in English and one in French) a planetary alignment of word and image at its zenith. Addressing a complex array of themes from the circus, Greek myth, Shakespeare, Scorpions and the sacred space and place of women, it is a tour de force of fine art printmaking never to be repeated again during her eight decades as an artist.

Technical Details: Four color lithographs (total 12 lithographs). Sheet size 13 x 10 inches. Edition of 168. Published 1972 by Montcalm Galleries, MI. Printer (lithographs) Mourlot, Paris, (text) L'Imprimerie Union, Paris.