Judith Rothchild & the Art of the Mezzotint – treasured books from the Verdigris imprint
Judith Rothchild was born in Boston, Massachusetts. She is a graduate in Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design (1972). She moved to the south of France in 1974 and in 1997 established Éditions Verdigris with Mark Lintott.They have jointly published over twenty Livres d’Artiste from 1997 to 2008.
“Most people consider mezzotinting to be so long and tedious, they are astonished that anyone would consider doing it in this age of instant technology. It is, in fact, the time element which creates the process and knowing how to work with it, rather than against it, is the essence of the problem. Preparing the plate with the mezzotint rocker is long and meditative, but I have the satisfaction of knowing that the plate will have a rich velvety texture that will be an ideal surface for drawing. …
“For over thirty years, my work in pastel has been concerned with the color of light and how it creates form. My work in mezzotint has taken that process one step farther, simplifying the question of pure light, letting the object glow in the darkness. The subject of these prints is really the pleasure of looking and in this age of zapping and video clips, it is more than ever essential to take the time to observe and to share these moments of concentration with the viewer.” – Judith Rothchild, Gravures en manière noire mezzotints 2004-2007.
Ruth Fainlight, the poet, writes in the Introduction to a catalogue of the work of Judith Rothchild .
“Are these the images of feathers – with their weightlessness and subtle mottling, the varied textures of down and vane and quill evoked by her masterly skill – or are they actual feathers pressed into the creamy paper? Are those translucent pomegranate seeds the same seven seeds Persephone ate, tempted by Pluto? The shine on a plate and the glint along a glass, the faintly speckled tender smoothness or silvery fuzz of begonia leaves against the dense blackness evoked with her burin, are so convincing that they seem absolutely real.
“Since our first meeting more than twenty years ago, I know that each chance to view Judith Rothchild’s latest work will be a sure source of pleasure. Her prints, etchings and mezzotints, the exquisite embossments which ornament her beautifully produced artist books ( on some of which we have collaborated), unfailingly increase my admiration for her artistry and the delicacy and nobility of her vision.”