What is a Serigraph?

A Serigraph is a rendition of an original artwork created by the silk-screen printing process.

 

In the past, the silk-screen printing process used a stencil to create the print of an image or a design. Stencils were used for centuries in the Orient to make fine art prints as well as craft items, fabrics, robes, Anil Relia with Amit Ambalalscriptures and various decorative goods. In Europe, the stencilling technique was adopted by craftsmen for mostly utilitarian purposes. Stencils were also used to add colour to playing cards and religious pictures printed with wood blocks. By 17th century, the technique was being used to print ornate wallpapers. And by late 18th century, stencil printing had made its way to the New World but it was not until the early 20th century that screen printing was started to be used as an artistic medium.

 

The creation of a serigraph is a very labour-intensive hands-on artistic procedure that requires many weeks to be completed. Before the printing process is started, the artist who created the original image is consulted. Sometimes the artists like to make changes when printing the edition - treating the print as an original rather than a reproduction of an already existing image. At times, even a few changes in the image or the emphasizing of certain colours or design elements can create a dynamic new image.

 

Having made these decisions, the serigraph printing process begins with the breaking down of the image into separate colours that are to be printed one after the other until the print is finished. The process of colour separation involves analyzing the original painting, selecting one colour at a time and creating a black ink representation of that colour. Colour separating was initially a process carried out by hand using paint Archer Serigraph Studiobrushes and black India ink on sheets of clear plastic film. Computers have gradually become a part of the process, which has made colour separation less laborious and has increased the accuracy of the image as well. However, the eye and experience of the chromist (person who separates the colours) are as valuable as ever and add to the computer generated separations by bringing in the subtleties of colour and texture.

 

 

Serigraphs are created by forcing ink through a series of fine meshed silk-screens. Each silk-screen is stretched tightly over a firm wooden or aluminium frame and is most typically coated with a photo-sensitive emulsion, although adhesive film is also used sometimes to create a mask. The chromist creates a separation by painting an opaque medium onto a clear piece of Mylar or acetate. This film is then transferred to a silk screen coated with photo-emulsion, and is then exposed to intense light. The emulsion exposed to the light becomes "cured" or hardened, and the areas blocked by the opaque separation on the Mylar remain soft and uncured. The uncured areas of the silkscreen are then washed out using a high pressure spray gun.

 

After the screen has been exposed, washed, and dried, it is carefully hand-touched to block out any specks or "pin holes" that may have resulted from stray dirt or over washed areas. The screen is then set up on a press, which is calibrated to move the screen up and down with consistent registration. This allows the printer to feed a print in a set of guides, lay the screen over the print, print the colour, and then lift the screen up again to feed the next print into the guides.

 

Before printing a run, a colour mixer carefully prepares the ink. The colour mixer and chromist communicate over what is needed to create the desired effect. The opacity/transparency,Archer Serigraph Studio viscosity, hue, and intensity are considered to receive the maximum mileage on each colour separation or screen. Transparent or translucent inks, for example, can create a variety of colours and effects  when printed over several different fields of colour. Opaque inks can cover unwanted areas or create a physical texture. The chromist considers all of these factors while separating the colours in order to keep the number of separations or screens at a minimum. In the same manner, the printer has a lot to consider as well, one important factor being the mesh of the screen.

 

Separations that require large fields of colour or heavy texture require screens with a course mesh to achieve greater coverage while separations with fine detail require screens with fine mesh. In addition to the screens, the printer can control the print quality with different types of squeegees. Squeegees come in different hardness and materials to adapt to a variety of technical situations. The angle, pressure and stroke also contribute to a number of effects.

 

The printing is then carried out - one colour at a time, beginning with the base colour and ending with the finishing coat. After each colour run, prints are air-dried on racks before the next screen is set up. All colour runs are completed in this manner over a Anil Relia with Manu Parekh period of several weeks or months.

 

Once all of this is done the artist checks and verifies each print minutely and then signs and numbers the prints to be released to the galleries. The notation 1/100 means that this particular print is the first of 100 in the edition. By signing and numbering the prints, the artist guarantees that there will never be more than the originally designated serigraphs of this edition.

 

Serigraphs have a long and fascinating history as a printing art more versatile than any traditional printing technique. The use of silkscreen as a modern artist medium began in 1938 when a group of New York artists, under the auspices of the Federal Art Project, experimented with silk-screening. This group coined the term "serigraphy" and later formed the nucleus of the National Serigraph Society, which actively promoted the graphic form.

 

As original fine art, serigraphs gained acceptance from both collectors and galleries in the 1960s when artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Wesselmann and Robert Rauschenberg began creating major works in thisMarilyn Diptych by Andy Warhol medium by experimenting with colours and textures that were unavailable in other mediums. At Christie's and Sotheby's art auctions, serigraphs have been sold for tens of thousands of dollars and have been accepted into prestigious art museums of the world as well.

 

In the earlier years, artists didn't have at their disposal the sources and people who possessed the know-how and expertise that goes behind the printing process. But today, after screen printing has gained such wide acceptance, a number of studios specializing in the same are available to the artists. These studios possess the expertise to work in collaboration with the artists and produce prints of higher quality.

 

Fine Art Print or Reproduction: There is great confusion between Prints and Reproductions. If you were to invest a large sum of money on an Andy Warhol print, you would want it to be the real thing and not something with the value of a mass produced poster. A reproduction print is merely a colour picture of an existing artwork made by photograph and machine methods.

 

A fine art print (like a serigraph) will always have value, in fact, fine quality prints made by leading printmaking artists sell for thousands to millions of dollars. Print collecting is a great way to start an art collection.

 

There are several ways a fine art print can be produced, but they follow a set procedure of professional artist involvement. The artist conceives the work as a print and personally involved in its production. The artist signs, titles and numbers each print and then destroys all stencils (therefore limiting the edition absolutely).

 

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Comments
9/10/2019 3:31 PM
Does a print using a serigraph process have the same durability as a standard print.   Should a protective 'museum' glass be used to guard the silk screen?

Thank You,
John.
9/10/2019 3:45 PM
A serigraph is a different printing process than a standard digital print. We use high quality archival inks which has a very long durability. Our serigraphs are printed on archival paper; a silk screen is used to create the stencil which is used in printing. The serigraphs are not printed on silk screen. Since it is paper; using glass to protect is always recommended.
10/30/2019 3:43 AM
Is a Serigraph signed by the artisit 107/350 of Bouquet Grand by Tatsuo Ito have value.
Found it while cleaning and it was purchased by a family member in 2004..
thank you for any info you might have.
My email is eviebinz@gmail.com
evie schweibinz
12/13/2019 5:29 PM
I very well thought out and written article about serigraphy.
12/24/2019 2:46 AM
A site is selling sergraph is that the same as serigraph
2/25/2020 2:51 AM
Hi; at an estate sale, I purchased an untrimmed, unframed serigraph by Freeman Worthly.  I think it has spent all these years in a cardboard envelope.  I'd like to display it, and since I realize that he is a well regarded silk screen artist, I'd like to do it right.  I'm afraid that the young framers in my small community, while very competent, don't know anything about silkscreens.  How do I direct them to preserve this?  Mat and glass?  Just glass?
3/15/2020 11:17 AM
very informative and helpful write up
5/24/2020 1:04 PM
Thank you for taking the time to give me such an excellent explanation.
Austin
5/30/2020 12:49 AM
INCREDIBLE !! You have opened my eyes. This is like silver halilde, old thyme photographs, from way back in the 1990s and 2000's to 2013's.

But from what you have said, I see that it EXPLODED the artistic talent of the artist to capture out of the movement of the colors preplanned and fixed by the multiscreens of colors sandwiched one layer after another until a brilliant bouquet of living, moving, intense and then underlying bed of color upon color as the OPACITY forming the base of the next layer OVER the fresh applied 'mayonanise' of the next color... puts "Shades" upon that color of 'mayo' applied to the next level of the old-thyme DAGWOOD sandwiche...

... which causes where the opaque emulsion applied to the underneath layer of the next color of mayo... creates the form...

AS THE FORM lies in the darkness, just like the consonates give the vowels there, upto here, but no farther boundaries and lives us with a richer and richer layer of language... 5 vowels and 21 consonates in English.

Its those gooey shades of opaque mayo that cause the too much of color to be sprayed away, after the color light light receiving below, like the moral good of the thing, alot the artist's strength of color intensity and nuance to Spring to Life, like this poured over Artist's Print [A.P.], left bottom signed to be as important as the artist's signature on the serigraph, the many layered color caucophony of jman and horse virility to spring for like the sprinting horses goaded on by their masters... the jockeys riding the spirit of the wild for the tamest and most brilliant outcome. LeRoy Neiman's A.P. GOING ON SALE at Taambay's stores world wide on Ebay, this summer. To sell for $12,000.00 to cover the complexity of mortage, tax and medical expenses of the owner under fire of human passion for greed, and the recovery of health come forth out of medical science.

There indeed is a deep story in every serigraph silkscreen. The artist's -- the second generation of impressionists like LeRoy Neiman -- are highly undervalued.,.., Just like a Picasso sold for just several thousands of dollars in the short generations after his death. But whose value has risen to the stratosphere's, These works are like the great cooperative work of the old masters of the renaissance.

But not painting the picture, but painstakingly after the 'first study' of the oil on canvas has given the 'terre a terre', the impressionism of LeRoy Neiman marks the late 20th century transition from chemical combusting substances, to Vega and Light ITSELF Lives of Life, Love and Vitality. There is passion in the Love of LeRoy Neiman's work.

Unmistakeable, gripping blurring passion. The kind that California State's laws require the lawyer in the artists to warn the exposed -- beginning in the unconscious in the 60's 70's, over vision lying ahead is where the cover dissappears after it lifts up the darkness of the passions and purifies it like an all enclusive Crowining virus... of sorts out into the stratosphere of the heavens and beyond.

Thank you for waking us up the the painstaking craft of the pioneer artists... those new Magellans, Space and Light and Life and Love pioneers!  To them rejoice in Einstein's works, "the mutually assured duality of nature." The artists direct. The technicians perfect. One with head and heart on the earth and vision in the Sky. The other with feet in the heaves and technical passion for technique's perfection well grounded on the earth.

Mark the words, these silkscreens shall take off in value into the stratospheres. There will even be new technicians that shall come and ressurect many of the current passionate artists like the incredible Guadeloupean Artist Alain Fiston... a police office and then detective, turned artist par excellence in his retirement years.

Give it a generation or even less, and there will be technicians with an artistic sense that shall transforms his canvases to boundless intense color vibrant places... to palaces of the man's passion, Not that passion is the virtue but it is the truth.

In LeRoy Neiman's "Florida Horse Races" it is the classical man and his horse, no longer a conquering horde but one passion betting against the horse of another color layer after layer as the round the turn,
5/30/2020 9:42 AM
I have a signed serigraph 1/10 .culture by the numbers. Is it valuable. Definitely old.
6/13/2020 5:28 AM
I have a stamped and numbered and hand signed serigraph by Dietrch Gruenweld inherited from my mother who passed away in January. I am really not sure which direction to go to appraise value for insurance purposes.