Structure D’un-Espace Bleu

Structure D’un-Espace Bleu
James Coignard, 1982
Engraving, numbered 30 in an edition of 75
Bridwell purchase, 1990

Born in Tours, James Coignard (1925–2008) moved with his family to Paris in 1926 where he began and completed his schooling. Coignard returned to Tours as an employee of the French Ministry of Finance, but at the age of twenty-three, inspired by landscapes of the French Riviera, decided to study art. Cognard enrolled in the Nationale des Arts Décoratifs in Nice, now the École Nationale Supérieure d'Arts à la Villa Arson, resigned his government position in 1952, and committed himself to painting. The nature of his early work placed him among the School of Paris artists, along with Jean Dubuffet, Jean-Michel Coulon, and Hans Hartung. In addition to practicing painting, Coignard was also a sculptor, ceramicist, glass artist, tapestry designer, and printmaker. In 1968 his friend Henri Goetz introduced him to an etching technique using carborundum, a powder developed for industrial applications, in order to print in relief and dramatically alter the surface of the paper. In his later years he used the same technique to create artist books.

Structure D’un-Espace Bleu (Structure of a Blue Space) can be read as an astral landscape, the setting for thick delineations in red and white anchored along a ruled line with stenciled letters A B, and C. Other letters are patched in, and a text-like row is impressed above. The paper is deeply pitted and debossed. The rich turbulent blue presents an evocative environment still capable of issuing an apprehensive countermand.

North Stairs
Structure D’un-Espace Bleu