Would you know a woodcut print if you saw one? Have you ever heard of the printing technique “woodcut printing?” It is an age-old method of printing that is rare and very challenging. An image is carved into the surface of a piece of wood. The non-printed parts of the image are gouged out. The part that prints the image is left untouched and level with the surface. Ink is then rolled over the image, but not in the grooved areas. How tedious compared to today’s fast printing abilities via the computer! But the uniqueness and beauty of woodcut printing cannot be surpassed. The viewer can often detect a woodcut print by close inspection of the image and spotting the grains of the wood that come through.
Boulder City’s own, artist Rainer Bertrams, aka R.B., is such an artist. Born in Germany, he developed an understanding of woodcut printing due to its inception and predominance in that part of the world. R.B. has taken the technique to a new level by incorporating exceptional colors and themes to his work. Thematic imagery used by this artist often reflects highly charged and deeply emotional pictures that are very thought provoking. When studying his work, view it closely. His pieces typically have many hidden images surrounding his main subject.
R. B. will be having his first solo exhibition beginning March 21st at the Charleston Heights Art Center. He is being honored by The City of Las Vegas Office of Cultural Affairs. If you have an interest in learning more about the woodcut printing technique, challenge yourself by attending this important exhibition. Come see and be inspired by a contemporary play on an ancient technique. The event, “Spirit Journeys” represents a unique assemblage of prints which have been imbued with vibrant colors and detailed style. Images lead the viewer to discover an evolving myriad of surprising elements and intentions.
Later this year, Boulder City will be honored with a talk by R.B., and possible demonstration, on this most distinctive form of printing. Keep your eyes open so you don’t miss First Thursday Artist’s Talks at the Boulder City Art Guild Gallery, co-sponsored by Boulder City’s Friends of the Arts!