Nick Wroblewski - Woodcut Printmaking
Nick Wroblewski is a native of South Minneapolis who returned to settle in the Midwest after attending Vermont's Bennington College. His interest in art was cultivated in his childhood, nourished by a surrounding community of artists and his experience In the Heart of The Beast Theatre Company
Amongst a community that was living lives as artists, Nick never questioned whether it was a realistic profession or not. In high school he was told that printmaking was a dangerously addictive undertaking, and once he fully realized the potential and possibilities that lay in a simple wood block and a knife there was no going back. In college he focused on painting and sculpture but upon graduating returned to relief printmaking as a way to combine both 2D and 3D work.
Returning to Minneapolis Nick worked at a cooperative printmaking center and started making his larger, more intricate color woodcuts. Eventually he was able to acquire a printing press of his own and since then it’s been full speed ahead.
His focus is on large multicolor woodcuts and he has developed a distinct aesthetic reminiscent of the stylized Japanese masters, yet uniquely his own. He utilizes a technique called two block reduction woodcut which uses a combination of two carved woodblocks to print specific areas of the image. The blocks are carved away throughout the process and used to print each additional color.
As they are carved and the image becomes more colorful and apparent, the blocks are “reduced” to almost nothing and the prints can not be made again. Ink is applied to the carved blocks with large rollers, the paper is precisely placed on the surface and “pulled” through a large printing press that transfers the image to the paper.
Nick's work depicts the reverence he has for the conversations of the wild and a loyalty to the honesty of handcrafted arts.
In his own words:
The capacity to make things with one’s own hands is an entirely human ability and one that we seem to be getting more and more removed from. To deliberately choose a profession that relies on the faculty of the hands to create imagery is to embrace and celebrate our own inherent human capability. It is a simple endeavor but reconfirms our experience as one shaped by the creations of our own two hands as enacted by humans for thousands of years.
It feels right and I am grateful to be able to earn a living from the things I directly make. Living a creative life allows for a more human pace. I am able to explore ideas as the inspiration arrives. If I am inclined to build a sauna, then it’s “well what does it take to build a sauna?”
This is in a way what being an artist is about; taking the initiative to learn about how things come together, hone the skill, and tackling it. Once the studio work is finished the opportunity to travel and share the imagery with new folks is another satisfying component of the entire process.
This work can be seen in private collections and galleries throughout the country, as well as commercial designs and illustrations. In the summer months Nick can be spotted showing his original prints at many of the nationally recognized outdoor Fine Art Fairs. He lives and prints from his home studio in the Driftless region of Wisconsin.
In 2014 he was chosen to design the commemorative poster for the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair and he is a perennial prizewinner at the nation's top art fairs.
Meet Nick and view his work:
Art in the High Desert, Bend, OR
Aug. 30-Sept. 1
Art In The Pearl, Portland, OR
Art at Ramsey, St. Paul, MN
Learn more at Nick's website: