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Laurent Schkolnyk Biography

Paris-born Laurent Schkolnyk works in the painstaking art of mezzotint, a type of etching that requires the surehandedness of a neurosurgeon. Mezzotint was invented in the early 17th Century by a Dutch German called Von Siegen, in the wake of the excitement generated by Rembrandt and his copper etchings. Schkolnyk studied at the Beaux Arts School in Nantes, and was influenced by mezzotint artists Mario Avati, Chiyoshi Hazagawi and Yozo Hamaguchi.

Schkolnyk does color mezzontint, a process invented by the French in the 18th Century that uses a trichromatic process where primary colours yellow, magenta (red) and cyan (blue) plates are used. Far more intricate than monochromatic mezzotint, color mezzotint requires three or more separate copper plates and takes a great deal of time. “For even a small image, you can spend from two to five weeks,” he says.

As to imagery, Schkolnyk states, “For myself, I was very sensitive to the still life. I love Dutch paintings and Italian paintings from the Renaissance. I like ‘old feeling’ in paintings,” he says. Laurent uses many elements of chinoiserie in his prints, blue-and-white ceramics and decidedly Oriental-looking fruit and blossoms are common subjects.

The artist has exhibited in many solo and group shows in France, the United States, Korea, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia, and his work is in several museum collections, including the Portland Art Museum and the Bibliotheque National, Paris.

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