1966 · Paris
A highly experimental book with each colorful two-page spread bearing text and designsarranged in a non-linear shape and order. Strachan (p233) writing when Le Néon de la Vie hadjust been published calls it an example of a livre manuscript. “Louttre has his own verypersonal language of intentional rusticity. The designs are cut intaglio, inked and printed in blackand tones of orange and red, and result in forty pages which are both witty and a feast to theeye."
“Loutre B." (sculptor, engraver, ceramicist, mosaic artist) is the son of the designer and painterRoger Bissičre (1886-1964). He used his nickname "Loutre B." (Otter ) as an artist name to emerge from the shadow of his father. He developed a special printing technique , in which hecombined woodcut and copperplate engraving, to producing a three-dimensional effect. Hebegan to work in engraving in 1960, studying with Marcel Fiorini and experimenting withcombining copper plates with woodblocks for a sculptural effect. The following year Louttrewon the second Biennale de Paris. He also experimented with monumental sculpture in cementand wood including those for public buildings; in addition he created tapestries and stained glasswindows. He participated in numerous private and collective exhibitions throughout Europe.“Louttre B” also worked in other art forms, from sand painting to stained glass, sculpture,tapestry design and book illustration. His work was included in exhibitions all over the world andis held in several important collections, including the Musée des Beaux-arts in Bordeaux.
“Louttre B” worked with experimental techniques in several books entirely engraved, of whichLe Néon de la vie, 1966 is the first.; Le Tarot des Familles, 1976 ; Les Douze Émois, 1980 ; LesTrčs Riches Heures, 1985 ; Pauvre Gaspard de Verlaine, 1995 ; Le Bogjo's Bohmp by WalterLéwino, 1995).
The Parisian bookseller Alexandre Loewy (1906- 1995) ) published only a few livres desartistes, these by contemporary artists in order to provide a showcase for their experimentalwork. These include
Les Roses by Rainer Maria Rilke, with etchings by Imre Reiner (1959)
Vigies by Tristan Tzara with aquatints by Camille Bryen, 1962
Le néon de la vie, text and etchings by M.-A. Bissičre, 1966
Aurélia. By Gerard de Nerval, with etchings by Imred Reiner, 1970
Ref: Strachan, W.J. The Artist and the book in France. 1969. illus plate 117, catalog p.334 (Inventory #: 1311)