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Silkscreen, Screenprinting & Serigraphy

If you are wearing a t-shirt with an image on it, you are likely wearing a screenprint. The earliest known use of screenprinting was in China during the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD). Also known as Silkscreen and Serigraphy, a compound word from the Latin ‘sericum’ (silk) and the Greek ‘graphein’ (to write or draw), screenprinting migrated from China to other Asian cultures, and then to Western Europe in the late 18th century. The technique was referred to as silkscreen printing in Asia because traditionally silk was used as the mesh through which the ink was transferred to the substrate. Screenprinting involves creating a stencil that blocks out the ink in certain areas to create the complete image one color at a time by overlapping the screens. Ink is forced through the mesh openings by a blade or squeegee onto the paper or fabric below. Screenprinting is widely used commercially, as its technical advantage allows the rapid production of large quantities, such as your t-shirt.

Pop artist Andy Warhol is widely credited with first using screenprinting as an artistic technique in the 1960s, his iconic images of Marilyn Monroe, Campbell’s Soup Cans and the Cow exemplified pop art’s use of mass culture imagery and mechanical means of reproduction. However, in the early 20th century, WPA artists were already experimenting with screenprinting, coining the term Serigraphy to differentiate fine art screenprinting from the commercial use of the process. The graphic nature and ease of screenprinting drew many artists to the technique in the 1960s and 70s.

At left, top: AFTER ANDY WARHOL: CAMPBELL’S TOMATO SOUP,
Sold 9/27/2104 for $6,000
At left, below: To be offered at our February 17 ART & DESIGN Sale

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FINE EXAMPLES OF FINE ART SCREENPRINTING ON OFFER AT STAIR:

In our JANUARY 29 – WORKS ON PAPER ONLINE AUCTION:

Above: Lot 13: ILYA BOLOTOWSKY; Lot 92: VICTOR VASARELY; Lot 110: GRAHAM OVENDEN

Above: Lot 83: SYLVIA WALD; Lot 98: NORIO AZUMA; Lot 8: DAVID SALLE

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In our FEBRUARY 17 – ART & DESIGN AUCTION:

Lots 4-6: JAMES ROSENQUIST, Lot 146: ARMAN, Lot 148: AFTER ANDY WARHOL

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