David Lynch on the magic of the stones.

Everyone’s favorite filmic Francophile has been making lithographs for the last few years at Idem Paris, a 15,000 square foot print studio at 49, rue du Montparnasse. A few weeks ago he released this short film documenting the process of printing a huge stone on an even bigger press. Here’s what David Lynch has to say about printmaking in Paris:


Hervé Chandès from the Fondation Cartier brought me over to Idem and introduced me to Patrice Forest. I see this incredible place, and I get the opportunity to work there. And this was like a dream! It just opened up this brand-new world of the lithography and the magic of lithography, the magic of the stones. And it was a great, great thing! This thing of lithography, this channel of lithography opened up and a bunch of ideas came flowing out and it led to about a hundred lithographs. I will say that Idem printing studio has a unique, very special mood, and it is so conducive to creating. Patrice has the greatest attitude for all the artists and he creates this space of freedom and this joy of creating. It’s so beautiful! And I think the place is very important—in other wors, the same stone could be moved to another place, and I think that the work that comes out would be different. It’s a combination of the stone, the place, the people, this mood, and out comes these certain ideas.


Originally built in 1880 by Emile Dufrenoy as a space to house lithographic presses, in the 20th century the building housed the Michard Printing Company, and in 1976 became the home of the renowned Mourlot Studio.


Fernand Mourlot (1895-1988) and his brothers effectively brought about the renaissance of art lithography in Paris between the two World Wars. They worked successively with Matisse, Picasso, Miro, Dubuffet, Braque, Chagall, Giacometti, Léger, Cocteau, Dubuffet, Calder, and many other masters of 20th century painting. Fernand Mourlot’s son, Jacques Mourlot, continued his father’s work until November 1997, when the Mourlot Company changed its name, and is now known as Idem.


You can see some beautiful photographs of the space here.

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Categories: Printshop Tour

3 Responses to “David Lynch on the magic of the stones.”

  1. Whitney says:

    I love lithography, and this is super interesting!

  2. Alan Luft says:

    Have recently developed non-toxic methods in stone lithography. I’m back at litho after a break of 20 some years, and now teaching it in Madison Wisconsin.

  3. Eric Mourlot says:

    I am afraid that Mr. Lynch and the Fondation Cartier have not been told the truth.

    Patrice Forest has been misrepresenting himself and his studio for years. While it is located in the same premises as the former Mourlot Studio, it has absolutely nothing to do with Mourlot!

    Even though Mr. Forest was taken to court and lost, there is really nothing I can do to enforce the judgement besides telling as many people as possible.

    He continues to use our name, our brand and our history to promote his own business. It’s shameful that a grown man has to steal someone else’s identity.

    My grandfather was an good and decent man and he must be turning in his grave when he sees such dishonest behavior.

    Eric Mourlot