Wildwood Press LLC

Michael Berkhemer | Twenty Years at Wildwood Press LLC

Michael Berkhemer | Twenty Years at Wildwood Press LLC

Michael Berkhemer

When Michael Berkhemer, the elegant Dutch painter with his deceptively simple yet ultimately complex language of abstraction and color, arrived in St. Louis in 1999 to print with me, one thing was clear – we were going to need more ink and a strategy to get it on the plates in way never seen before. House paint rollers seemed to be in order—dozens of them. And what—thirty, forty pounds of ink in five days? This was not printing for the faint of heart—wet on wet, sliding plates, and paper so big and heavy with ink that Michael’s subsequent visits to Wildwood Press would be forever known as the Big Paper Rodeo.
In order to keep up with Michael’s ambition, the studio continues to be a place of invention. In 2000, Michael’s iconic ellipse gave rise to our use of laser-cut steel plates—now a studio staple. In 2002 and 2005 his puzzle plates became more complicated and we honed our skills in cutting and acrobatic placement with each visit.
Above all, Michael’s finished work—his layer upon layer of color, the reveal/the sliver of light beside a deep pool of a shape and hue, and his intense concern with the center heightened by his purposeful disregard of the margin—confirms his self-proclaimed place as a painter who prints.
-Maryanne Ellison Simmons

Image Credit:

Michael Berkhemer Berkhemer Untitled St. Louis 2005 B3 DETAIL

It’s all about art. My work originates in the tradition of soberness and purity which has characterized Dutch painting for centuries. Using a variety of techniques and working with a range of materials I strive for a balance between form and colour, reason and emotion. In the process, I seek to distill the impact of the visual imagery that surrounds us.

Michael Berkhemer, Michaelberkhemer.com

Michael Berkhemer

Untitled St. Louis 2002 IIIM

2002

30”w x 78”h

Relief/Collagraph

Unique

d41be8_31a3a39bc0b747c9bff9a49c2ba36bd5~mv2.jpeg

Michael Berkhemer

Untitled St. Louis 2005 B3

2005

60”w x 85”h

Relief/Collagraph

Unique

d41be8_93edca661e0d432aa5d068e992a48527~mv2.jpg

Berkhemer 2000 Studio Maryanne Simmons at Press II Series

Michael Berkhemer

Untitled St. Louis 2000 IIF

2000

60”w x 85”h

Relief/Collagraph

Unique

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Michael Berkhemer

Untitled St. Louis, F2 E6 F1 E5 F3

2011

18”w x 78”h each

Relief/Collagraph

Unique

d41be8_4176b4d7d657466aaffb4ae49dd2f78d~mv2.jpg

Michael Berkhemer 2002 Signing

Michael Berkhemer

Untitled St. Louis 2002 A6

2002

60”w x 85”h

Relief/Collagraph

Unique

d41be8_353b29471bdf4ceb9efc9b9d9bc73bb5~mv2.jpg

Michael Berkhemer

Untitled St. Louis K5

2005

18”w x 78”h

Relief/Collagraph

Unique

d41be8_6726985d1c9f48b0bf046269e0863ed3~mv2.jpg

Michael Berkhemer 2011 in Studio

d41be8_c57d3fc932fa458c821c7c08242fce03~mv2.jpg

Untitled St. Louis D1

Michael Berkhemer

2005

30”w x 78”h

Relief/Collagraph

Unique

Artist Michael Berkhemer’s works build on the characteristics that distinguish Dutch painting. While a colorist in the great Dutch tradition, Berkhemer purposefully moves his vertical work away from the other Dutch tradition of landscape. With his brash colors and sharp, decisive lines, Berkhemer explores the effect of a stimulating visual culture and navigates the boundaries between artistic form and human emotion.

Wildwood Press LLC

can be reached at:

314-540-6026

City Museum 701 North 15th Street 403E St. Louis, MO 63006