Aldo Crommelynck

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Aldo Crommelynck
Aldo Crommelync.jpeg
Born December 26, 1931
Died December 22, 2008
Nationality Belgian
Education Apprentice of
Roger Lacourière
Known for Intaglio Printmaking
Awards Chardin Prize 1953

Aldo Crommelynck (26 December 1931 – 22 December 2008) was a master printmaker who made intaglio prints in collaboration with many important European and American artists of the 20th Century.[1][2]


Crommelinck was born in Monaco. His father was the Belgian playwright Fernand Crommelynck (1886 – 1970) and his mother was Anne Marie Le Tellier (1886 – 1970). They had four sons: Jean,[3] Aldo, Piero (1934 – 2001), and Milan.[4] Aldo's older brother, Jean, was a talented photographer and reporter.[5] Fernand's theatrical masterpiece was Le Cocu magnifique (1920). He also made many black and white drawings of his family and friends.[6]

Aldo's uncle, Albert Crommelynck, was a Belgian painter, set designer, muralist, printmaker, and writer. Albert's son Patrick (1942 – 1994) and his wife, Taeko Kuwata (1945 – 1994), formed the classical piano Duo Crommelynck, which was active from 1974 until July 9–10, 1994, when both performers committed suicide.


At age 17, in keeping with his family's artistic tradition, Aldo Crommelynck began an apprenticeship in Paris under the French printmaker Roger Lacourière,[7] who was a family friend.[1] Here, he worked with major artists: Léger, Masson, Rouault and Miró. He also assisted Henri Matisse on the aquatint series Visages (1945–52)[8] and formed a close relationship with Pablo Picasso.

In 1955, the Crommelynck brothers, Aldo, Piero and Milan, founded a workshop in Montparnasse. Soon, Atelier Crommelynck began to attract stellar clients; Miró, Le Corbusier, Arp, and Giacometti came to work in the studio. Here, Georges Braque created a series of etchings and aquatints titled L’Ordre des Oiseaux (The Order of Birds), which was published in 1962, accompanying poetry by Saint-John Perse.[9]

In 1963, Picasso decided that he needed a printmaker close to his house in the south of France at Mougins. In response, Aldo and Piero Crommelynck set up a studio nearby, where they helped him to create approximately 750 prints. Among these were illustrations for a version of Fernand's Le Cocu magnifique,[10] and the notorious Series 347 (1968), whose erotic images created a furor when they were exhibited simultaneously in Paris and Chicago in 1968. Even though the Art Institute of Chicago withheld 25 of the prints as "unfit for public consumption", it was deluged with complaints.[11] Although this series has gained critical acceptance,[12] it continues to generate controversy.[13]

After Picasso died in 1973, Aldo and Piero Crommelynck returned to Paris, where their atelier attracted the established British artists: Richard Hamilton, David Hockney and Howard Hodgkin, as well as several younger American artists: Jim Dine, Jasper Johns and David Salle.

In 1976, at Atelier Crommelynck, David Hockney created a portfolio of twenty etchings called The Blue Guitar: Etchings By David Hockney Who Was Inspired By Wallace Stevens Who Was Inspired By Pablo Picasso.[14] The etchings refer to themes of a poem by Stevens, "The Man With The Blue Guitar". The portfolio was published by Petersburg Press in October 1977. That year, Petersburg also published a book, in which the images were accompanied by the poem's text.[15]

Crommelynck had a close relationship with Dine, who said: “He taught me everything I know about etching”, and with whom he collaborated on more than 100 prints.[1] Among these were the 25-print series “Nancy Outside in July” (1977–81)[16] and many prints derived from Dine’s paintings of hearts and bathrobes. In 2007, Dine donated to the Bibliothèque nationale de France a nearly complete set of these prints. From April 23 until June 17, 2007, the Bibliothèque sponsored an exhibition, Aldo et moi, of prints selected from this set,[17] and published a book which includes these images.[18] In the early 1980s, Dine made a series of drawings, prints, and paintings that referred to the ornate iron gate at the entrance to Atelier Crommelynck at 172 rue de Grenelle, Paris.[19] These activities culminated in the creation of a huge painted bronze sculpture, the Crommelynck Gate With Tools.[20] In 2009, after Crommelynck's death, Enitharmon Press published a deluxe edition of Dyne's reminiscences, Talking About Aldo, which includes a signed portrait etching.[21]

Selected collaborations[edit]

Artist Project Dates Refs Comments
Georges Braque L’Ordre des Oiseaux 1962 [9] Book with St. John Perse
Jim Dine Nancy Outside in July 1977-81 [16] 25 aquatints/etchings
David Hockney The Blue Guitar 1973-75 [14] Inspired by Wallace Stevens
Jasper Johns Corpse and Mirror 1973-75 [22]
" “Foirades/Fizzles” 1976 [23] Book with Samuel Beckett
" Land's End 1978-79 [24]
Henri Matisse Visages 1948-52 [8] Apprenticed to Roger Lacourière
Pablo Picasso Le Cocu magnifique 1966 [10] To illustrate Fernand's play
" Series 60 1966-68 [25]
" 347 Series 1968 [26] Erotic images[13]
" Series 156 1970-72 [27]


  1. ^ a b c Grimes, William (29 January 2009). "Aldo Crommelynck, Master Printer for Prominent Artists, Is Dead at 77". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ Bellet, Harry (7 January 2009). "Aldo Crommelynck, maître graveur". Le Monde. Retrieved 30 January 2009. 
  3. ^ "Fernand CROMMELYNCK, Anna LETELLIER et son fils Jean". Archives & Musee de la Literature. 1926. Retrieved 2012-06-11. 
  4. ^ "Eighth generation of Crommelyncks". Retrieved 2012-06-11. 
  5. ^ Piette, Alain; Cardullo, Bert (1997). The Crommelynck Mystery: The Life and Work of a Belgian Playwright. Susquehanna University Press. p. 10. ISBN 9781575910031. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  6. ^ Crommelynck, Fernand (1910). "La Famille CROMMELYNCK à l'exposition de 1910 (aquarelle)". Archives & Musee de la Literature. Retrieved 2012-06-11. 
  7. ^ "Lacourière, Roger 1892-1966". WorldCat Identities. Retrieved 2012-06-11. 
  8. ^ a b Matise, Henri (1951). "Trois tetes (Aquatint)". Metropolitan Museum of Art. Roger Lacourière. Retrieved 2012-06-11. 
  9. ^ a b Mellby, Julie L. (2011-11-30). "L'ordre des oiseaux". Highlights from the Graphic Arts Collection, Princeton University Libra. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  10. ^ a b Crommelynck, Fernand (1966). "Le Cocu magnifique". The Museum of modern Art. Atelier Crommelynck. Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  11. ^ "Obituary of Aldo Crommelynck". The Telegraph. January 30, 2009. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  12. ^ Riva Castleman (October 14, 1970). "Picasso: Master Printmaker Opens At Museum Of Modern Art" (PDF). The Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  13. ^ a b "The Russian church condemns the erotic exhibition of Picasso "Suite 347".". The Delta World. April 6, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  14. ^ a b Hockney, Davis (1976–1977). "The Old Guitarist' From The Blue Guitar". British Council; Visual Arts. Petersburg Press. Retrieved 2012-06-20. 
  15. ^ Hockney, David; Stevens, Wallace (January 1, 1977). The Blue Guitar: Etchings By David Hockney Who Was Inspired By Wallace Stevens Who Was Inspired By Pablo Picasso. Petersburg Ltd. ISBN 978-0902825031. Retrieved 2012-06-20. 
  16. ^ a b "Nancy Outside in July". Phillips du Pury & Company. Pace Editions, Inc. June 2, 2009. Retrieved 2012-06-11. 
  17. ^ Darmois, Marie-Noele (April 24 – June 17, 2007). "Jim Dine: Aldo and me, Prints engraved and printed with Aldo Crommelynck" (in French). Bibliotheque National de France. Retrieved 2012-06-20. 
  18. ^ Dine, Jim (30 October 2008). Aldo et moi. Steidl. ISBN 978-3865214614. Retrieved 2012-06-20. 
  19. ^ Creeley, Robert (January 14, 1988). "The Collected Essays of Robert Creeley". University of California Press. Retrieved 2012-06-20. 
  20. ^ "The Crommelynck Gate with Tools". The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1983. Retrieved 2012-06-20. 
  21. ^ Dine, Jim; Livingstone, Marco (2009). Talking About Aldo (Deluxe ed.). New York: Enitharmon Press. p. 75. Retrieved 2012-06-20. 
  22. ^ Johns, Jasper (1975–1976). "Corpse and Mirror". The British Museum. Petersburg Press. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  23. ^ TRANTER, RHYS (August 2009). "Rare edition of Beckett's Foirades/Fizzles". A Piece of Monologue. Retrieved 2012-05-28. 
  24. ^ Johns, Jasper (1979). "Land's End". The Walker Art Center. Petersburg Press. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  25. ^ Picasso, Pablo. "Pablo Picasso: Etchings 1966-1971". Landau Traveling Exhibitions. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  26. ^ Picasso, Pablo (1968). "Variations and Themes: Series 347". The Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  27. ^ Picasso, Pablo (1970). "Ecce Homo, After Rembrandt from Suite 156". The Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 2012-06-17.