Wildwood Press LLC

Michael Berkhemer | Twenty Years at Wildwood Press LLC

Michael Berkhemer | Twenty Years at Wildwood Press LLC

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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: Michael 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
Relief/Collagraph
30”w x 78”h
Unique

Michael Berkhemer
Untitled St. Louis 2005 B3
Relief/Collagraph
60”w x 85”h
Unique

Image description. Image Credit. 

Michael Berkhemer
Untitled St. Louis 2000 IIF
Relief/Collagraph

60”w x 85”h
Unique

Michael Berkhemer
(Group) Untitled St. Louis 2011 F2 E6 F1 E5 F3
Relief/Collagraph
18”w x 78”h each
Unique

Michael Berkhemer
Untitled St. Louis 2002 A6
Relief/Collagraph
60”w x 85”h
Unique

Michael Berkhemer
Untitled St. Louis 2005 K5
Relief/Collagraph
18”w x 78”h
Unique

Michael Berkhemer
Untitled St. Louis 2005 D1
Relief/Collagraph
30”w x 78”h
Unique

Michael Berkhemer

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.

Full Biography

Curriculum Vitae

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email: wildwoodpress@gmail.com

City Museum

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St. Louis, MO 63006

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