Discussion with Cora Texier, artist and lithographer

07/08/2021 - Between two impressions

Graphic designer by training, you have been a lithographer artist for several years now. How did lithography come into your life?

At first, I come from a private Art School in Paris where I studied for 4 years. It was a generalist school which has a manual approach with a lot of drawing. Then I did a complementary training in graphism at Gobelins. I wanted to have all the elements in hands to be able to enter an agency and make it my job. Further to diverse meetings and a wonderful internship in the printing house Arte in Paris, I started to practice lithography. There, I discovered litho, engraving, offset… This place is amazing. Then, one thing leading to another and through my first steps as a graphic designer where human relations were increasingly rare... the desire to find a manual approach in my work and to meet new people opened up to me. I discovered the Ateliers de la Ville de Paris in Glacière and at the same time, I met Michèle Rolland, a professional lithographer. Michèle guided me in all my thoughts and in the discovery of lithography. She is still very present in my life today when I have doubts or technical questions. In the end, the starting point of everything is the meetings, at least that is what allowed me to go from graphic designer to lithographer.

Sometimes you use infographics in your works. How do you relate to the world of graphism? How do you manage to mix both these worlds?

I use everything in me, all my resources to create and to mix modern and more ancient methods. I find this process very interesting because there is no limit. Being able to create hybrid things by having a knowledge and manual basics which were transmitted to me by a professional (Michèle Rolland). I find it even more interesting because there is no (well, no more) school that teaches lithography today, except workshops of course. But not professionally. I am afraid this technique will disappear over time if no school opens and teaches lithography. It is important for me to transmit this knowledge to a future generation of artists.

You offer individual or group courses for people who want to discover the technique of lithography. Is this essential for you?

Indeed this takes part of my idea of transmission, or at least of my idea of opening doors to a profession for a specific technique and writing that are practiced on stone and on plaque (the supports I use in my studio) and thus allow emerging artists to enter this world.

You work with lithography in a mineral, anatomical or even dreamlike way. How did these universes appeared to you?

I have a very strong link with nature. I like to take a walk outside and feel the elements, feel the wind on my skin, touch the water and the ground. I want people to be conscious of what is around them. This is why I integrate a part of nature in my creations.

What kind of press do you use? Which one is your favorite?

In my personal studio, I have a lithographic arm press dating from 1865, a French Voirin brand press. In the other studios where I practice lithography, there are mechanical presses such as the Marinoni or a German “contre épreuve”. But I have a preference for the Voirin. Its format is very good avec a plate of 70x100cm, I can do a lot with it…

You collaborate with artists on diverse projects: album covers, books, posters, small printed objects, video clips... What feedbacks do you get from them about your works made in lithography?

Combining infographics and lithography leads me to collaborate with a lot of artists who would not have known this technique otherwise. The opening is wide enough, I can suggest to artists, who are not designers, to do things with them. I really like to work with print photography for example. The approach is more original and the infographics bridge the gap between these two worlds. Whenever a collaboration comes to a successful end, it is always the wonder to discover the result, the magical effect is real. There is something captivating and it is really nice to offer all this range of possibilities thanks to lithography.

Is it also a moment of wonder for you to discover the result with an artist?

Totally. I enter in a new universe every time, and I adapt myself according to the writing of each artist. It is a true richness to be able to talk with all this different people with different point of view and different ways of expressing their feelings. Every time, there are all just beautiful meetings! It is really encouraging.

You used Joop Stoop's lithography inks in your works for the Rare Books and Fine Arts Salon at the Grand Palais de Paris in 2020. What feedback can you give us about these inks?

Joop Stoop’s big strength, on top of their inks that are really good and that I daily use in my creations, it is their selection of papers. They have a great range of papers and not only of papers that are specific to lithography. I use other papers that perfectly work and that allow different results and I love it. We have to learn to open up to the spectrum of whatever is available to us and how to use it.

A project or a collaboration to come?

I must say the planning is filling up well at the moment. I have a small collection of books, and my next collaboration will be with Caroline Bouyer who is engraver and teacher at the École Estienne. I met Caroline at the École Estienne where I trained in engraving. Her universe touches me a lot, especially her last works which are very vegetal, so obviously that speaks to me. I also have another big lithographic book project for the head edition with a photographer artist, Stanislas Augris with whom I have already collaborated. We will also work with an author for the text. Concerning myself, I will be the director of this beautiful project!