Guide to printmaking: silkscreen printing

Silkscreen printing (screen printing) is a printing method in which ink is pressed with a special blunt knife (squeegee) through the printing elements of the printing plate onto the printed material.

Printing form: Fine mesh of metal or nylon fabric, secured at the edges with a metal or wooden frame. By the way, traditionally the mesh was made of silk, hence the name - silkscreen printing.

Method: To make a stencil, a layer of photoresist is applied to the mesh, which covers all mesh cells with a film, then imposing a photo output (positive). The emulsion is illuminated, and the areas not affected by the light are washed out. Areas with washed-off photoresist are printed elements, since the mesh cells in these areas are not covered with film. And areas with unwashed photoresist remain impervious to paint, thus becoming white space elements. This is how the stencil for the future print  is created. When printing a multi-color image, a stencil for each color is made separately. In this case, almost any material can be used! Paper, plastic, silk, glass, ceramics, metal, fabric, leather, rubber …

Advantages:

  • High color saturation due to dense paint layer
  • Durability of the paint layer
  • The ability to use special effects: glitters (sequins), volumetric printing, fluorescent inks
  • A wealth of colors

Initially used primarily for industrial purposes at the beginning of the 20th century, silkscreen printing was elevated to the rank of art by Andy Warhol in the 60s, and today it occupies one of the leading places among all print techniques. In addition to the king of pop art, the silkscreening method was used by Marcel Duchamp, Robert Rauschenberg, Fernand Léger, Jackson Pollock, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein. By the way, when applied to art, this method is often called serigraphy.

JART.market collection has a wide range of silkscreen prints by artists of different eras and trends - from the shocking works by Oleg Kulik and the legendary works by Komar and Melamid to prints by Tatiana Yan and elegant graphics by Adel Hayrapetyan.

21.07.2021
Author:Алена Монахова

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