The Intuitive Prints of Taiko Chandler

December 30, 2021 Jen Tobias , Associate Director of Exhibitions & Art Collections; Associate Curator of Art

Taiko Chandler composes her prints experimentally by combining shapes, colors, lines and textures to explore her memories of nature and family. On display in her exhibition The Indelible Garden are two forms of printmaking: monoprints and monotypes.  

Despite their similar names, monotypes and monoprints are very different kinds of prints. Both involve the transfer of ink onto paper from a smooth, non-absorbent surface made of metal, glass or plexiglass, (called a plate) but the way the artist creates the image, and the kind of print each produces, is very different. 

Taiko On and On

Taiko Chandler, On and On T12020, oil monoprint with stencils, 2020


A monoprint begins with a design etched into a plate. Ink is rolled across the plate and then wiped away so that it only remains in the grooves of the etching—when the plate is pressed into paper, only the design of the etching creates an image. Since the etching is permanently marked into the plate, it can be reused. Multiple prints are often taken from the same plate to create a series of related prints.  

Each work in Taiko Chandler’s On and On series contains the same etching as its basis. Chandler paints and draws on top of the etched design, using stencil and masking techniques to create a layered effect. She says of her monoprints: “I begin with a blank piece of paper and start layering stencils onto the plate. I respond to each layer, add new stencils, and keep going until I feel the piece is finished. The visual outcome is always a surprise.” This unpredictability of printmaking is what draws Chandler to the medium.   

Taiko Frozen

Taiko Chandler, Frozen, monotype print on Tyvek, 2017


Monotypes are made by painting with ink directly onto a plate. Since the image is not etched into the plate, it can’t be reused and the prints are one-of-a-kind. Monotypes are used by Taiko Chandler for her large-scale installations. 

Monotypes are typically printed on paper, but Chandler prints on Tyvek for her installations. After painting her design on plexiglass, she transfers it to Tyvek by laying the sheet on top and pressing. Using an X-Acto knife, she cuts out the negative space between her forms and creates additional cut designs. Tyvek is a durable synthetic material, often used for wrapping houses during construction. For this reason, it withstands the intricate marks and holes Chandler makes in the material.   

Discover Chandler’s layered prints and installations in The Indelible Garden: Prints by Taiko Chandler, on view through April 3, 2022.  


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