David Wolske

David Wolske uses a combination of contemporary and historical processes to transfigure letters, numbers, and punctuation into visual poetry. His abstractions use color and negative space to communicate the more emotional aspects of  written language while inviting the viewers to create their own interpretations.

 Wolske’s cross-disciplinary practice combines digital design tools with the traditions  of letterpress and fine art printmaking. He has two distinct modes of working. At times he works under clear formal rules executed using controlled methods, translating his digital compositions into print on a Vandercook cylinder proofing press with his collection of antique wood and metal types. The predictable nature of this approach gives the artist and his work a sense of mastery. However, he will also improvise at the press with no preconceived notions. This strategy is rooted  in curiosity and wonder. Its unpredictable nature leads to learning and discovery and continuously drives his practice forward.

 Blending new and old technologies is ultimately about working with the building blocks of language, which themselves are an ancient, continuously evolving technology. Wolske invented a printing technique and named it isotype printing,  a portmanteau of the words isolate and type. By using formal elements of type,  like stems, bowls, and serifs, he recasts text into a new kind of tool for communication. The resulting prints offer conceptual dichotomies such as control/chaos, symmetry/asymmetry, and harmony/dissonance.

 By deconstructing language to express a more visceral form of communication, Wolske’s work playfully subverts the relationship between the hand and the  machine. Viewers are often surprised when they learn or realize that the deceptively simple shapes they see in these enigmatic compositions are remixed letters  and numbers. By abstracting the alphabet, Wolske transforms the ordinary, or even banal, into something new and unexpected.

 

DAVID WOLSKE

American (b. 1975)

 EDUCATION

2005    

MFA Graphic Design, Indiana University

2000

BA Studio Art, Marian University

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2018

Re:Wording, Robert E. and Martha Hull Lee Gallery, Oxford, OH

2017

David Wolske: Letterpress, School of Visual Concepts, Seattle, WA

Lexicology, Johnson Center for Fine Arts, Franklin, IN

 

2016

Synæsthetica, Haley Gallery, Nashville, TN

David Wolske: Abstract Letterpress, Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft, East Sussex, UK

 

2015

David Wolske: Letterpress, Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum, Two Rivers, WI

Vessels, Park Gallery, Finch Lane, Salt Lake City, UT

 

 

TWO-PERSON EXHIBITIONS

2016

Correlation Matrix, Vida Sačić and David Wolske, DeVos Art Museum, Marquette, MI

 

2015

Mary Toscano and David Wolske, The Gallery at Library Square, Salt Lake City, UT

 

2014

Ryoichi Suzuki and David Wolske,Braithwaite Fine Art Gallery, Cedar City, UT

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2021    

Ink on Paper, OC Great Park Gallery, Irvine, CA

5 × 5 × 5, River Oaks Arts Center, Alexandria, LA

2020

New Prints 2020/Summer, International Print Center New York, New York, NY

CASPFest, Charles Adams Studio Project, Lubbock, TX

Texas Juried Exhibition, Artspace111, Fort Worth, TX

2D National Juried Exhibition, Dallas Metro Arts Contemporary, Plano, TX

Tangible Type, Du Charme Edmann Gallery, Manitowoc, WI

Hullabaloo 2020, Christel Dehaan Fine Arts Center Gallery, Indianapolis, IN

Under Pressure, The Lincoln Center, Fort Collins, CO

 

2019

TIPO: An Exhibition, Arquipélago-Centro de Artes Contemporâneas, Portugal

Original: Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Prints, CTAC-Traverse City, MI

NEXT 2019, Sabine Street Studios, Houston, TX

CASPFest, Charles Adams Studio Project, Lubbock, TX

New Impressions, Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum, Two Rivers, WI

Gadzook!, GOCA Downtown, Colorado Springs, CO

 

2018

The Space Between, Beatrice M.Haggerty Gallery, Irving, TX

Why Letterpress?, Red Door Press, Des Moines, IA

 

2017

Full Court Press North American Juried Print Competition, Corpus Christi, TX

Letterpress Hullabaloo, Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center, Indianapolis, IN

 

2015

Beyond Printmaking Landmark Arts Gallery, Lubbock, TX

Next: 12 Visual Art Fellows Rio Gallery, Salt Lake City, UT

 

2014

Stand Out Prints Highpoint Center for Printmaking, Minneapolis, MN

Outside the Margin Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, Silver Spring, MD

Ink, Press, Repeat William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ

 

 

EXHIBITIONS JURIED

2018    

Emergence: An Exhibition of Student Works, CVAD Foundations Program, UNT, Denton, TX

New Impressions, International, Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum, Two Rivers, WI

 

2016    

All Student Show, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL

 

2012

Counterform, Special Collections Gallery, J.Willard Marriott Library, Salt Lake City, UT

 

2009

Counterform, Special Collections Gallery, J.Willard Marriott Library, Salt Lake City, UT

 

2007    

Chicago Design Archive, The Society of Typographic Arts, Chicago, IL

 

FELLOWHIPS & RESIDENCIES

2020    

HMCT 2020 LHM Educator Fellowship, ArtCenter College of Design, Pasadena, CA

 

2017    

Windgate Project Manager Fellowship, Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum, Two Rivers, WI

 

2016    

Visiting Artist in Residence, Hatch Show Print, Nashville, TN

 

2014

Visual Arts Fellow, Utah Arts and Museums

 

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

2020

Christian Peterson, Artist Profile, “Meet David Wolske: Typo/Graphic Designer + Artist” Shoutout DFW, https://shoutoutdfw.com/meet-david-wolske-typo-graphic-designer-artist/,September 1.

 

2018

Kristen Armstrong, Artist Profile, “Meet David Wolske,” VoyageDallas, http://voyagedallas.com/interview/meet-david-wolske-david-wolske-typographic-designer-artist-denton/,October 25.

 

2015

Anna Chayasatit, Artist Profile, “David Wolske,” People of Print, http://www.peopleofprint.com, February 2015.

Shawn Rossiter, Interview, “David Wolske: Artist Profile,” 15 Bytes, http://www.artistsofutah.org, January 2015.

 

 

COLLECTIONS

Brigham Young University

Columbia University

Cornell University

Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum

Indiana University

Mills College

Newberry Library

New York University

Oberlin College

Oregon State University

Rochester Institute of Technology

Swarthmore College

University of California, Berkeley

University of California, Santa Barbara

University of Arizona

University of Delaware

University of Georgia

University of Iowa

University of Miami

University of Texas

University of Utah

University of Wisconsin, Madison

Virginia Commonwealth University, Qatar

Wells College, Book Arts Center

Wesleyan University

 

 

TEACHING

2017–Present

Assistant Professor, College of Visual Arts and Design, University of North Texas

 

2015–17

Visiting Assistant Professor School of Art, Architecture and Design, Indiana University

 

2018–15

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Art and Art History and School of Architecture, University of Utah

 

2008–15

Faculty, Book Arts Program and Red Butte Press, University of Utah

 

2007–08

Instructor, Center for Book and Paper Arts, Columbia College Chicago

 

2006–07

Visiting Assistant Professor, School of Art, Architecture and Design, Indiana University