On 21 March 2023, the association Empreinte atelier de gravure entrusted a set of 315 prints by 79 renowned artists to the National Library, thus expanding the institution’s Iconography Collection considerably.
The BnL is delighted with this deposit, which will enable it to promote contemporary printmaking and ensure optimal preservation in appropriate and secure premises.
Guy Langevin, a painter and lithographer of Canadian origin, also welcomes this deposit, which includes four of his original works: “It is an excellent thing to have them [the works] preserved and managed by the National Library, who is providing this collection with a great deal of longevity and both Luxembourgish and international artists with visibility.”
Among the 315 prints received, many are of Luxemburgish origin, for example those by the artists Diane Jodes, Sus Hierzig, Sylvie Karier, Isabelle Lutz, Flora Mar, Pit Wagner, Anneke Walch and Désirée Wickler.
The deposit also includes works by non-Luxembourgish artists, such as Bo Halbirk, Michael Goro, Anne Heyvaert, Guy Langevin, Laureline Lê, Ishida Fumi and Struan Hamilton, who have joined Empreinte atelier de gravure thanks to scholarships and residency stays offered by the association.
This is not the first time that the National Library and Empreinte atelier de gravure have collaborated. In 2022, the two entities had already agreed on the criteria and conditions for the legal deposit of graphic documents, which stipulate that one copy must be submitted to the BnL from a print run of 10 copies.
The techniques of engraving and printmaking have been used for centuries to produce works of art in multiple copies, allowing images to be widely distributed. For a long time perceived as a minor art and a simple form of reproduction of content, printmaking took off in the second half of the 20th century and became an art in its own right. Printmaking takes many forms, ranging from relief and intaglio engraving, woodcuts, copper engravings, lithographs and silkscreens to more experimental techniques.
Empreinte atelier de gravure a.s.b.l. was founded in December 1994 by 13 engravers. The collective offers introductory courses and specialised training and is committed to passing on traditional know-how. Today, Empreinte has about forty active members who keep this unique workshop alive in Luxembourg.