Unique exhibition-workshop of relief printing and printed items

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Photo by Krists Luhaers
Photo by Krists Luhaers
Photo by Krists Luhaers
Photo by Krists Luhaers

From 26 October, the "Print Workshop" ("Melnās mākslas darbnīca"), exhibiting a variety of printing techniques, will be held in the ground-floor exhibition hall of the National Library of Latvia (NLL). For the first time in Latvia it will be possible to see and try out different printing presses – from a 19th century Boston printing press to a modern-day three-dimensional (3D) printer manufactured in Latvia. Entry is free.

Melnā māksla comes from the German term Schwarze Kunst (literally, black art) which encompasses the graphic arts and the printing industry. Before World War II, it was also widely used in the Latvian language. Melnā māksla combines technologically sophisticated work, though very messy in its processes, with, in the finest examples, surprisingly precise and delicate results.

All the printing presses and printers in the "Print Workshop" will be fully operational and visitors will be able to find out about different printing techniques (relief printing, intaglio, lithography, silkscreen and digital printing), as well as the fundamental principles of 3D printing.

More will be revealed about these printing techniques by a diverse range of exhibits – from books printed in different eras and Latvia’s first postage stamps (which, because of the shortage of paper in 1918, were printed on the reverse side of maps) to the very latest style of skateboard (a longboard) produced in Latvia, and an artificial leg for a stork made on a 3D printer.

A behind-the-scenes display of graphic art will enable visitors to look at sketches and printing plates created by well-known artists from the 20th and 21st centuries – Romans Suta, Oļģerts Ābelīte, Kristians Brekte and others.

In partnership with the Latvian Printers' Association (LPUA), which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, the exhibition will also present the most significant achievements of Latvia's contemporary printing industry. Only about 20% of Latvian printing production is made for the local market. Four times more products printed in Latvia travel to other countries around the world. Scandinavian design magazines, food and cosmetic packaging for world-renowned major companies, and publications representing both royal houses and reputable institutions are printed in Latvia.

The "Print Workshop" exhibition will be accompanied by an extensive programme of graphic master classes (information on the workshops will be available on the NLL website and Facebook page www.facebook.com/lnb.lv), lectures will be held, and excursions run to a number of Latvian printing houses.

The exhibition will run until 25 February 2018.

Mon.–Fri. 9.00–20.00
Sat., Sun. 10.00–17.00

The exhibition has been created through the NLL ​​cooperating with the LPUA, the Latvian Academy of Art and the Mass Portal company. Exhibition sponsors: Jelgavas tipogrāfija, Antalis. Information support: Studija magazine.


Additional information:
Augusts Zilberts
Public Relations Manager
National Library of Latvia
Phone: +371 26472501
E-mail: augusts.zilberts@lnb.lv