"Ecritations", Signs

1980 - 1986

Besides using primordial signs like the cross and other geometric shapes, Jean Hirtzel experiments since the beginning of the 1980s with what he calls "Écritations”, which are writings not to be read, writing gestures, portraits of the inexpressible. This is a recurring theme in his later artwork.

The “Ecritations”, a neologism created by the artist, originates from many different sources : from the medieval palimpsest (hand-written parchment the content of which was more or less erased to write another) to the coded texts of the computer printers in the 80s.

The “Ecritations” are sometimes mixed with other formal themes : guillotines, figures, fragments of bodies, portraits and self-portraits. Other signs, imprints and traces also belong to this research.

The sculptures created at the time, from simple forms, frequently bear signs and “Ecritations”.