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Art in focus: Lithography in Idem Paris

"Before photography became a relatively affordable pastime at the beginning of the 20th century, lithographic prints were touted as the democratic image-making medium that could reach all classes of society" ( quoted from Japan Times).

Lithography is the art or process of producing a picture, writing, or the like, on a flat, specially prepared stone, with some greasy or oily substance, and of taking ink impressions from this as in ordinary printing.

The most noteworthy of all the Lithographic workshops is none other than Idem Paris, formerly known as Atelier Mourlot, established in 1881 by the printer Eugene Dufrenoy . The current building is now in Montparnasse. Standing underneath the glass ceiling in the groundfloor, I was transfixed. As we toured the building, the positive creative energy in the space was almost palpable. It was Idem's machines that printed masterpieces of Picasso, Matisse, Miro, Calder, Leger, Chagall, Braque, Dubuffet, Giacometti, Cocteau and other artists. Now, this 19th century to early 20th century tradition continues to live on printing the works of the contemporary artists from film maker David Lynch, photographer JR , William Kentridge to Brazilian street artists Os Gemeos.

Street artist JR's " an eye for an eye" : eye of Picasso on Idem's s Litho stones

David Lynch made a short film titled Idem Paris

Maha Harada, a japanese author wrote the novel “The Romancier,” which features encounters between a Japanese protagonist and various characters at the Idem Paris.

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