Aqua Alta, 2011
Woodcut, mokuhanga woodcut, watercolor, acrylic, ink, wax on Japanese papers, 19.25 x 18.75 inches folded, 19.25 x 38 inches open, limp cover long-stitch binding of indigo Cave flax paper, with sanded title and ornament, edition of 5.



Reference, 2001
Unique bookwork: screen printing, ink and gouache on poplar wood, accordion sewn binding, handmade box. 7 x5 x1 inches. $3000



Animated life forms shift and combine for unusual inventions suggestive of science fiction and nature studies. Textual word play follows the movement across a rich red background. Relief printed etchings, with watercolor on Lana Cover paper, 13 pages, accordion folded, with wooden box container 3.25 x 5 inches folded; 3.25 x 70 inches unfolded. $1500



Vastness, 2013-2014
woodcut prints on Kitakata paper, letterpress text on midnight blue Ingres paper, 5.25 x 4.25 inches folded, 5.25 x 37 inches, edition of 20. Poem, “On the Beach at Night Alone,” by Walt Whitman from Leaves of Grass. $600



Extension, 2005-2014
Intaglio with handcoloring, sumi ink and gold enamel paint, accordion folded into decorated patterned papers, 6.25 x 5.5 inches folded, 6.25 x 46 inches open. $600



Charting, 2000
Unique bookwork: screen print, watercolor & acrylic on carved poplar wood pages, accordion sewn binding, handmade box, 7 x5 x2 inches folded, 7 x 20.5 inches unfolded. $3000


I am an artist who has found books to be a “fertile format”. I have used many book-making methods over the years in my own bookworks, some learned at workshops, other methods developed on my own or adapted. I often follow principles that recognize possibilities for display of the work, self-publication abilities, plus knowledge of book terminology, and print technology problems. I am an advocate for the “experiential nature” of artist’s books- that one experiences the work on many sensual and spatial levels.

Among the many reasons I make books is the recognition of the tactile qualities of work made for the hand, the control of pacing and the “reading/viewing” as an experience, an interest in story-telling, and strong, important historical and cultural associations.

For me, there is a love of materials as I make my book objects – an awareness of paper, ink, proportion, color, relationships, finish, detail, all parts to the whole, with evidence of craftsmanship; I am making an aesthetic object, even a beautiful one, as a carrier of important ideas.


Kunc is a Nebraska based artist who also works in New York, Italy, Colorado, and Helsinki. Her prints and artist books have been shown recently in solo exhibitions at: The Huntington Museum of Art; The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha; The Leedy Voulkos Art Center, Kansas City; Piano Nobile Gallery, Krakow, Poland; Davidson Galleries, Seattle. Her work has been included in numerous important group exhibitions, including: The Abstract Impulse, National Academy Museum, New York; 5th International Triennial of Graphic Art 2007, Prague, Czech Republic; Book as Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC; Sublime Present, Musashino Art University, Tokyo, Japan. Kunc’s works are represented in many public and private collections, including: the Museum of Modern Art (NY); the Library of Congress; the Smithsonian American Art Museum; Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha; Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon; Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas; Honolulu Academy of Art.

Karen Kunc was born in Omaha, Nebraska. She received her BFA from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1975, and her MFA from Ohio State University in 1977. She is a Cather Professor of Art at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she has taught since 1983. Her recognitions include: the 2007 Printmaker Emeritus Award from the Southern Graphics Council; a Fulbright Scholar Award, 1996; Mid-America Arts Alliance/National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, 1996 & 1984; Nebraska Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship Master Award, 1992; Individual Artist Fellowship, Ohio Arts Council, 1982. She has taught numerous workshops around the world and served as a visiting artist to over 100 institutions. She has curated exhibitions of American art for Finland, France, Egypt, and frequently serves as a juror for national competitions.

Karen Kunc Website