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Master Printmaker invents waterless lithography, removes toxic solvents from process

By October 28, 2018

ALCHEMY

Alchemy is the hermetic science of causing change both physical and spiritual.

Public Exhibition:

Chapel Gallery, North Battleford SK

October 27 – January 27, 2019

The genesis of idea formation is the essence of a life’s work by Master Printmaker, Nik Semenoff. Whether printing on paper, sketching, sculpture, jewelry making or painting on hardboard panels – it is quite apparent they belong to the same artist. The strength of the idea whether rational or intuitive is the synthesis of progressive idea development. Images respond to each other forming a visual strain of continuity. These chosen works themed by Shields, Medals, Awards, Flags, Maps and more, evoke his social commentary of our world built on hierarchy and privilege. This is his consummate insight and understanding of our social structure as a flawed society built on personal wealth and position.  

The administrative and methodical division of land possession, one’s title and one’s association to power and position is at the heart of this exhibition. This transference of idea sharing within the artist, inspires thought provoking contemporary imagery that speaks of historical social structures, war, love, greed and symbols created for one’s own pedestal. Yet in all this, this work was not created for personal profit, for Nik Semenoff has rarely shown commercially. The exception being sold out exhibitions in Japan and China where he was giving workshops and demonstrating his new tools and fine art processes as well as in Ireland, Europe, New Mexico, Sydney Australia and across the USA. Nik Semenoff shares his knowledge freely and students have written theses in other languages, as well, peers have written accolades about him, attesting to his knowledge in printmaking. He has been published in LEONARDO, as well, universities have implemented his environmental processes and new technologies for printmaking in the 21st century into their core programs.
 
He is the true father of waterless lithography, a consummate problem solver and inventor for the betterment of the artist, worldwide.

Biography

In the early 1950’s Nik worked as a commercial artist, TV Director and finally while at U of S Extension Department was asked to teach at the
U of S Printmaking Department. There he encountered the toxic solvents and materials used by a large number of careless students working in one space. It became obvious this was not a safe place to be. He started to introduce less toxic materials and at the same time came up with an easier method of making high quality prints.
 
• In 1984-85, replaced grease tusche washes using dry copier toner.
• In 1990, he discovered how to make waterless lithographic plates, which allows the artist to do things too difficult in traditional lithography.
•In 1992, he found that copper sulfate will etch both zinc and aluminum without the need for dangerous acids.
• He developed a three-part roller that makes both traditional and waterless lithography easier, a Palm Press for hand printing, toner chalks and screen print ink base using starch-based paste and more.

Since retiring from the University of Saskatchewan in 1992, he holds the position of Artist-in-Residence with the department of Art and Art History.
In 2006, he was given an Honorary Doctor of Letter Degree for his work in innovative printmaking. Along the way he was selected for the University of Toronto’s, Canadian Who’s Who; and he was the recipient of the Saskatchewan’s Arts Board Lifetime Award for Excellence in the Arts of 1999. He received the Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from University of Saskatchewan and gave the commencement address at convocation, May 24, 2006

More of Nik Semenoff’s work and processes can be seen on his website. http://www.ndiprintmaking.ca

Also at: U of S website

Title: Insight - Waterless lithograph, 20in x 26in, rag paper