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Biography of Monique Bex
Monique Bex was born in Paris in 1943. Her early years of education took place in Paris, though she also spent a whole year in Germany and two years in Portugal. She qualified as a teacher of History and Geography with a Masters in Librarianship from the Higher National Institute of Libraries.
In 1976, in a move undertaken for professional reasons, she and her family took up residence at the University of Berkeley in California, an experience which made a profound impact on her. She was recruited by GANIL (large heavy national accelerator for nuclear physics) in 1983 as a science librarian, working in the research laboratory for fundamental Physics. She became project manager in 1995.
Meetings with the engraver Daniel Guillotin had a decisive impact on Monique’s future. She became acquainted with him in a professional capacity through her work with the CNRS, where she was responsible for the dissemination of awareness of research activities in the public domain (general public, schools and the political arena). Daniel Guillotin, as a graphic artist, was able to provide professional advice. Through this gifted printmaker, Monique Bex soon discovered the Atelier du haut de la Rue in Caen, a printmaking and visual arts studio founded in 2005. During that same year, Monique Bex came to the end of her professional working life. She realised, at once, that the Atelier could provide an exciting opportunity to develop her long sustained affinity for the practice of drawing and painting. Soon she was immersed in the challenging pursuit of etching.
« The technical constraints inherent in the medium of etching are not a hindrance to me. I can avoid what I don’t like: complications, rigidity, whatever seems too obvious, too straightforward. » She works, experiments, sometimes makes mistakes, surprises herself, has doubts, makes gradual progress.
Monique Bex has been inspired by an eclectic range of well known artists as varied as Geneviève Asse and Zao Wou Ki; she also cites Yannick Dublineau, Alfredo Maiorino, Christian Bozon, and, of course, Daniel Guillotin. A comprehensive list would be much longer! As a newcomer to the world of printmaking, Monique Bex has recently begun to contribute (2013) to group shows. It’s worth noting that in 2016, she was invited to participate in the first International Biennial for etching in Xuyuan, China.