Print matters

Oslo National Academy of Fine Arts

Many will maintain that printmaking should keep to its traditions, that we should not try to create anything new or look to the future. Be sure you do not do anything to upset the status quo of the medium! There are far too many preconceived notions about what printmaking is, and the key problem is that we, the printmakers, created this situation in the first place.

Innumerable printmaking institutions, associations, and organisations have, through years of systematically defining the medium, created a tradition that is so inflexible and immovable that it is no longer able to carry the medium’s original aura and societal function.

If we look beyond our borders, to the USA and larger European countries in particular, extensive work has been done over the past 25-30 years to advance printmaking, and to situate it within contemporary art; in relation to prints on paper, the multiple, cast objects, artist books, billboards, etc. All this points towards a new, expanded field of printmaking where tradition, technology and, perhaps especially the hybrid, are significant to the development of new artistic projects.

What does the concept of the print/printmaking entail today?
What does the future hold?

Art historian Kathryn Kramer points to the lack of historical writing about printmaking (with the exception of technical chronicles), and a concurrent obscuring of the medium within art theory and criticism. It is, in her words, “a completely inexplicable insult, since the medium lends itself so well to debates surrounding authorship, originality, social orientation and power ”. The fact that printmaking, controversially considered the most technical of art forms, does not situate itself as such, implies that a different code/agenda is at work.”

We, at the Department of Printmaking and Drawing wish to do something about this. As Professor and Head of the Printmaking & Drawing program at the Oslo National Academy of Fine Arts, and as an artist working in printmaking, I am concerned with developing a theory of printmaking from the inside, and strengthening the profile of printmaking within contemporary art.

In the fall of 2015, the Department of Printmaking and Drawing organised the seminar “Printmaking in the Expanded Field.” This exhibition is a continuation of the discussions initiated by the seminar, and part our work in redefining the role of printmaking in contemporary art.

”Printmaking in the expanded field occurs as soon as we start to question tradition and art history together with the problematic set criteria that Modernism founded.”

Oslo National Academy of the Arts

Department for Art & Craft

Printmaking & Drawing is committed to the making and understanding of contemporary art by cultivating specialist activities within a multi-disciplinary and self-sufficient environment; focusing on hybrid technology, shared knowledge, cross-pollination, practice-based research and public engagement. Our intense and varied programme of participatory and collaborative courses, demonstrations, lectures and studio talks is supported by visiting artists and field trips abroad. 
The workshops are run by master technicians specialising in intaglio, lithography, serigraphy and relief printing; encompassing photo-based processes, 3-D printing and scanning, VR drawing, CNC routing, laser and water-jet cutting. 
Our newly established publishing workshop fosters artists’ publishing and engages students throughout KhiO’s departments of visual arts.
As a point of access, our Printmaking & Drawing laboratories impart expertise in material processes; promoting both formal and tacit knowledge in the workshop, by tailoring to the development of a student’s artistic practice.
The Art and Craft department takes inspiration from a vision of art as integrated into the everyday public and private spheres. The department recognises the social, political and environmental responsibilities of artistic practice in which; the contextual significance of materials, in production and sustainability, is as important as their intrinsic properties; the resurgence in DIY ethics and collaborative activities is supported by non-hierarchical learning; and the integration of digital technology in the workshop reprises craft as an expanding field.

Academic Staff
Jan Pettersson, Professor & Head of Printmaking & Drawing
Tiril Schrøder, Professor of Drawing
Victoria Browne, Associate Professor of Printmaking & Publishing
Trine Wester Associate Professor
Erik Solheim, Associate Professor of Printmaking
Karen Disen, Lecturer of Drawing
Bror Mikkelborg, Lecturer of Printmaking
Workshop Masters
Vibeke Luther O’Rourke, Publishing
Bror Mikkelborg, Lithography
Scott O’Rourke, Intaglio & Relief
Jan Skomakerstuen, Screenprinting
Erik Solheim, Lithography


Jan Pettersson
Tiril Schrøder
Erik Solheim
Victoria Browne
Trine Wester
Karen Disen
Bror Mikkelborg
Scott O Rourke
Jan Skomakerstuen
Vibeke O´Rourke
Anna Weilhartner
Åsa Polfjärd McNeill
Beatrice Guttormsen
Cathrine Liberg
Erika Reed
Geetanjali Prasad
Hampus Håkansson
Hanna Cantillana Wiklund
Kari Koltveit
Linda Hærnes
Line Prip
Maria Viirros
Nina Bjørkendal
Patricia Rispatron
Sally Nordstöm
Sigvei Ringvold
Miao Sun
Suzannah Rehell Øistad
Thomas Iversen
Victor Johanströmmer
Wahiduzzaman Bhuian

Images from the Studios

Oslo National Academy of Fine Arts

Photos on this page

Main image in this page is a detail from “Leylandii Camouflage” by Victoria Browne. You can access the artist’s pages by clicking the small images.

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