Photography: Duston Todd

David Wolske pushes the medium of printmaking in exciting new ways, urging it to interact with different technologies and experimenting with the different possibilities….The clean lines and simple shapes of his letters and words belie a complex approach to image making.

—Nora Burnett Abrams, Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver


David Wolske received a BA in Studio Art from Marian University, Indianapolis, Indiana, and an MFA in Graphic Design from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. His work is exhibited and collected around the world and he teaches typography, graphic design, letterpress printing, and book arts classes and workshops across the United States. David’s methodologies combine the traditions of letterpress and fine art printmaking with digital tools and design thinking into a unique cross-disciplinary workflow. 

Wolske was selected from 165 applicants in 2014 by Nora Burnett Abrams, Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, to receive a prestigious Utah Visual Arts Fellowship. In 2016, the world renowned Hatch Show Print, in Nashville, Tennessee chose him as the first Visiting Artist in their 137-year history to work independently with the Hatch archive to make a new, personal body of work.

David is an Assistant Professor of Communication Design in the Department of Design, College of Visual Arts and Design, University of North Texas.

Artist Statement

My work explores the potential of letterpress printing as a medium for creative, non-commercial printmaking. I create abstract compositions that honor the history of wood type while striving to evolve and extend its visual vocabulary. Often over the past decade, this has been achieved through a process of addition, printing layer upon layer until the rectilinear nature of the process is concealed.

In 2012 I began a series of subtractive experiments. I wanted to deconstruct letterforms and obscure recognition without compromising the integrity of antique moveable wood type blocks as reusable modular objects. By combining my experience with cylinder-proofing and iron hand presses with my knowledge of pressure printing and embossing, I developed a masking technique I call isotype printing. With this new method I subvert literal interpretation by isolating and layering the vertical, horizontal, diagonal, and curved components of typographical forms.