BIG INK Print Exhibition

June 12 – August 14, 2021

Color | Ink Studio and BIG INK are collaborating to present an exhibition of large woodblock prints curated from BIG INK’s unique print collection. These works showcase the diversity and range of contemporary woodblock printmaking by 22 artists from around the U.S. and Canada.

“This exhibition of large-scale woodblock prints is the first of its kind in the metropolitan Detroit area,” according to Gallery Director Candace Law. “The monumental size of these prints is amazing—the smallest is 24” x 36” and the largest is 72” x 36”—and the creative energy and skill on display is nothing short of breathtaking.”

The woodblock print, or woodcut, has a long history as a medium for creative expression dating back to 3rd century China. A woodblock is essentially a hand-carved stamp made through a process of elimination. First, an artist traces or draws a design onto a wood panel. Areas to show in ‘white’ are cut away with a chisel, leaving the image to show in ‘black’ at the original surface level. The woodblock is coated with ink, and paper is pressed against it by hand. Large woodblocks require a specialized machine, either an etching or platen press, to exert enough force to produce a quality impression.

“The contemporary printmakers represented in the exhibition use the same historical techniques,” says Candace Law, “but take widely varied approaches. Some use realistic imagery, and for some the work is very abstract. Yet each artist shapes the medium to their individual aesthetic and voice to express something unique for themselves and for the viewer.”

BIG INK returns on October 16-17 for a weekend of monumental printmaking. Plan to join the festivities and watch as 15 artists print their woodblocks!