Julie Safirstein (geb. 1977)

Les papillons

(The Butterflies)

Poésies dessinées (Drawn poems)
Text Gérard de Nerval
Paris: Maeght Éditeur 2012
Accordion book, 8 double pages, Original lithography
22 x 17 cm, 3 mm reinforced cardboard
Part of a three-volume series

The book and its history

This text consists of the first two stanzas of a longer poem by the French romantic poet Gérard de Nerval. It begins with the question of what one misses most in winter and what one loves most. This is followed by answers such as: Roses, a glow of early spring, a singing nightingale, or butterflies. In this leporello, too, the forms remain implied; if they do become more concrete, such as the recessed outline of a bird, the next double page leads back into the vagueness of a possible flower and ends with a simple barely recognizable butterfly form.
The artist accompanies the openly associative form of the poetic verse with equally open pictorial figures.

Biographical note

Julie Safirstein, born in 1977 in Paris, lives and works there as a painter, book and paper artist.
After studying at the École des Beaux Arts in Marseille, she began working as a freelance artist in Paris, offering painting classes and art workshops for children. Her interest in the combination of free art and texts led her to an intensive occupation with book-artistic work. Her first artist books were published by the well-known gallery Maeght Éditeur. Three Leporello folding books with original lithographs by the artist on poems appeared in 2012 under the series title "Poésies dessinées." With this series, the famous Galerie Maeght took up the tradition of Warja Honegger-Lavater's original print leporellos, which appeared in the gallery's own print shop from 1965 until the 1990s.

A year later, the large-format fold-out book "Le Jour, la nuit, tout autour" was published. Recently, the artist has become increasingly interested in the haptic properties of paper, leading to three-dimensional pictorial objects, often in conjunction with colored accents in gouache technique.

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