Philippe Mohlitz is arguably the most technically refined and inventive original engraver to be working in the traditional manner in France today. His bizarre images of decay, war, and weird deserted lands are drawn from the realms of science fantasy, whilst following firmly in the Surrealist tradition. Rich in detail, his images of strange aviators aboard weird flying machines, balloons, ships, tanks and warfare, set in impossible landscapes, are filled with a pervasive sense of the macabre. Death haunts these visions and nightmares in their peripheral details of gruesome sexual content and morbid eroticism. The grotesque decaying corpses of buildings, machines and people, often overgrown with vegetation, fill these inspired works with horror and macabre delight.
La Peste is the archetypal Mohlitz image, depicting the rotting hulk of a ship which has been marooned for decades after running aground, its crew having died of the plague.
Born in Bordeaux in 1941, Philippe Mohlitz studied the techniques of engraving at the studio of Jean Delpech in Paris in 1965, producing his first finished work in the medium that same year. His latent talent as a draughtsman is apparent even in his earliest works and his distinctive style appears to have emerged fully formed. Since his engraved work was first shown in 1967, Philippe Mohlitz has exhibited extensively worldwide. His superlative technique is distinguished by its refined handling, meticulous detail and smooth, flowing, continuous curves of unbroken engraved lines of carefully controlled weight. Already prized by connoisseurs, the astonishing and highly individual engravings of Philippe Mohlitz are destined to be regarded as the masterpieces of original engraving of this generation.