Drawing from his imagination, Michael Kuch portrays a world both fantastic & familiar in his books, prints, and paintings from his Double Elephant Press. Kuch lives and works in Northampton.
Kuch grew up in northern Vermont. He began drawing in pen & ink at the age of eleven & the following year, had a one-person show at a local museum. He remained self-taught until he came under the wing of Leonard Baskin at Hampshire College. Under Baskin's critical eye, Kuch studied life-drawing in the classical tradition. As a student, he was particularly struck by the print work of Odilon Redon, Francisco Goya, and Giambattista Tiepolo.
For many years after receiving his BA, Kuch continued to work closely with Baskin, printing etchings in color for Baskin's Gehenna Press. In 1994 Kuch started his own Double Elephant Press with the publication of a book of frog etchings entitled, A Plague on Your House. The book contained a tongue and cheek exposition by Kuch on the demise of frogs that was more about human vulnerability. For the past 20 years Kuch has worked with book artisans in the Northampton area, notably the letterpress printer Art Larson, as well as numerous bookbinders.Lately, Kuch has delved into printing his own etched text
and made forays into bookbinding.
Complete collections of Kuch's Double Elephant Press are housed in the Mortimer Rare Book Room at Smith College, the Library of Congress, and the Yale University Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, among others. The National Gallery of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as over 60 other institutional collections hold his books. His latest book of etchings, illustrating an unpublished story by Margaret Wise Brown called, The Little River, published by Two Ponds Press, was recently honored with two awards at the UK Fine Press Book Fair in Oxford, England. It was recognized in 2013 with both the Judges' Choice Award and the Parrot Prize for the best-illustrated book printed in the previous two years.