Untitled, by Kreg Yingst

February 4, 2021
(© Kreg Yingst, from Psalms, Poems, and Prayers: A Block Book of Praise. Used by permission.)

Kreg Yingst’s diverse contemporary and historical interests converge in his work with block printing. Each of his affecting pieces includes an amalgam of quotes, portraiture, symbolism, and story—and each has a radiant musical quality. Over the years Yingst’s prints have explored contemplative figures (St. Francis, the Desert Fathers, the psalmists), advocates for justice (John Lewis, Martin Luther King Jr.), and musicians (Delta blues artists, Aretha Franklin, Freddie Mercury). Yingst has an unusual ability to push this ancient form into the modern world of contemporary expression. His work with narrative text straddles printmaking and typography. In this image, Yingst illustrates the familiar prayer known as St. Teresa’s Bookmark. It’s a timely choice. The text has persevered through time, being prayed for centuries by monastics, mystics, and activists. Yingst asks us to consider it again amid our current social, ecological and humanitarian crises. The piece marks a page of prophetic insight for yet another generation.