Test Pattern 2.5
14.5 x 14.5 in
Lego Letterpress relief print
This piece is included in the New Impressions Exhibition on display at the museum April 17-June 30, 2018. There are a limited number of these prints available.
Mike Sonnichsen is an artist and printmaker whose work explores systems and patterns, which often begin with familiar found objects. Color, light, and the mechanics of print and photographic processes are employed to reveal previously unseen or poetic qualities in objects usually given little artistic consideration. It is through the nature and biases of particular mediums that more complex, challenging, and allusive readings arise from everyday materials and designed objects. Mike Sonnichsen grew up in Puerto Rico and studied architecture at Virginia Tech. After Tamarind lithography training, he received an MFA from the University of New Mexico and now resides in Moscow, Idaho. He teaches printmaking in the Art & Design Program at the University of Idaho and is converting a Vandercook Universal II to hand operation.
This piece is the result of ongoing “Lego Letterpress” experiments. The Lego baseplate and a variety of "flat tile" pieces provide the letterpress print artist with a particular range of form possibilities. While largely free of type or text reference, they acknowledge the visual richness often seen in specimen pages of decorative letterpress borders. As print artist, I seek to make work where I cannot predict the outcome, where the process and results continually surprise and challenge me. I usually give my “form-work” some rule or formal constraints, then print each color pass 4 times, rotating the square sheet 90 degrees for each pass. This efficient (or even somewhat lazy) approach allows chance, or at least the unexpected, to play a role on the creation of the work. The resulting 4-way rotational symmetry creates various levels of orderliness and color blending, while developing optical dazzle and alluding to both familiar and universal structures.