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Twentieth Century Screen Printing

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PRESENTS

Twentieth Century

SCREEN PRINTING MARCH 13 - SEPTEMBER 19, 2018

SUPPORTING SPONSORS

SEATTLE ART MUSEUM • THIRD FLOOR GALLERIES

Margery Ann Friedlander

A look at the iconic works of art that defined the twentieth century and popularized an ancient printing technique within the modern art world.

The Exhibition Endowment Maxwell & Helen Gurvich

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CONTENTS Timeline of Historic Events

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Ancient Origins

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The WPA of the 1930’s

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Mark Coomer of the 1940’s

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Charlie Harper of the 1950’s

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Andy Warhol of the 1960’s

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Roy Lichtenstein of the 1970’s

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Keith Haring of the 1980’s

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Shepard Fairey of the 1990’s

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Sources

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A TIMELINE Historic Events in Seriography

550 BC Ancient Polynesians create a primitive form of stenciling using banana leaves

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1045 China’s Song Dynasty develops movable type and mass prints currency notes

Twentieth Century Screen Printing

1853 Japanese Katagami technique connects intricate stencils with strands of human hair

1907 WPA enlists artists who utilize screen printing to mass produce public service posters


1935 Samuel Simon of Manchester, England patents silk screen as a carrier for stencils

1940 Carl Zigrosser of the PMA coins the term “serigraph� to refer to a fine art screen print

1965 Andy Warhol & other Pop artists embrace and popularize the art of screen printing

1990 Health & chemical regulations lead to the use of safer new printing techniques

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ANCIENT ORIGINS

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Twentieth 20TH CENTURY Century ScreenSCREEN Printing PRINTING


EARLY PRINT DEVELOPMENTS Banana Leaves,The Song Dynasty & Katagami

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he first primitive form of screen-printing

which tiny pieces of intricate stencils cut from

was done by Polynesian Island natives

double sheets of thin waterproof paper could

more than 1500 years ago by cutting designs

be connected together with strands of silk or

into banana leaves and forcing dye or

human hair that were woven together in a

ink through the leaf openings. Later, more

linear or grid pattern (as shown in the image

sophisticated stenciling techniques developed

on page 6). The strands were strong enough

during the Song Dynasty providing the means

to hold the stencil pieces in place while

for them to mass print currency. Centuries

still allowing the ink to pass through. These

later, innovative Japanese artisans made

strands were referred to as “ties� because

additional improvements in printmaking. They

they successfully tied together the intricate and

invented a technique called Katagami, in

fragile portions of the stencil.

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WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION

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THE 1930’S Fine Arts Screen Printing Began as a Result of the WPA

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n 1935, President Roosevelt established the

introduced many artists to screen printing.

Works Progress Administration (WPA) as

He orchestrated a self-sustaining program

part of his New Deal Program to put millions

in which artists in the screen printing unit

of unemployed Americans back to work,

produced posters to publicize important issues

including artists. Fine arts screen printing

of health and safety, cultural programs, travel

began as a result of the WPA program when

and tourism, educational programs, community

a group of artists and printmakers requested

activities, federal projects and eventually

that screen printing be a federally sponsored

patriotism during World War II. Today, these

project. Anthony Velonis, a printer and painter,

descriptive posters are collector’s items as well

was chosen to coordinate the new effort and

as iconic symbols of the era.

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MARK COOMER

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THE 1940’S A Husband & Wife Team

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erigraph artist Mark Coomer produced many popular prints with his wife Sally

during the 1940’s and 50’s. They worked out of a studio in their home in Prospect Heights, Chicago. Together they hand painted each serigraph, pulling only 100 prints of each subject to make them truly limited edition works of art that are still collected to this day. Most of their subjects were done on masonite or paper. Mark and Sally’s devoted teamwork yielded many lovely examples of serigraphy.

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CHARLEY HARPER

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THE 1950’S Harper’s Striking Minimalist Style

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irst introduced to many American homes

appeal to viewers of all ages and still serve

through the Ford Times periodicals in the

as an important source of inspiration for many

1950’s, Charley Harper’s minimalist renderings

young designers and graphic artists. He has

convert shapes and behaviors of wildlife’s most

designed over 50 “bio” posters for non-profits

recognized forms down to their simplest terms.

and produced more than 100 limited-edition

The geometric style of his cut-outs and silk-

silk-screen prints. Haper’s bold, stylized

screens were imagined and created before

images of natural scenes and his whimsical

the recent advent of digital design on personal

representations of animals have contributed to

computers. His simple yet quite striking images

his vision of protecting and preserving nature.

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ANDY WARHOL

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THE 1960’S Warhol’s Influence on Popularizing Serigraphy Through Pop Art

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or most of the twentieth century, screen

used medium. One of Warhol’s first serigraph

printing techniques were considered,

images was his Marilyn print, which he based

“trade secrets” and were kept confidential.

on a photograph from Monroe’s 1953 film,

It wasn’t until the 1960s, with the help of

Niagara. He realized that serigraphy allowed

Andy Warhol, that it became a more widely

him to quickly produce his art in a systematic

recognized art form. His famous Campbell’s

manner. Warhol later succinctly remarked,

soup can silkscreen prints were embraced,

“Isn’t life a series of images that change as

and are currently worth millions. When Warhol

they repeat themselves?”, which so aptly

began to experiment with screen printing in

reflects his philosophy of screen printing and

the 1960’s, the practice was not a widely

his often-employed artistic style of repetition.

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ROY LICHTENSTEIN

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THE 1970’S Lichtenstein Ushers In Another Decade of Pop Art

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hroughout the sixties and seventies, Roy Lichtenstein contributed to the second

wave of screen printing as an art-making process. His technique was combined with mass media as the subject matter and it grew into Pop Art. Lichtenstein became a leading figure in this new art movement. His work defined the premise of Pop Art through parody and he created many iconic printed images.

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KEITH HARING

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THE 1980’S Haring, Warhol & Walt Disney

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elebrated artist and social activist

Andy. Had Andy not broken the concept of

Keith Alan Haring boasts a vast body

what art is supposed to be, I just wouldn’t

of work that includes numerous examples of

have been able to exist.” The two artists finally

serigraphy, many of which were created with

met after one of Warhol’s exhibitions in New

silk screens during the eighties. Haring greatly

York in 1984. Two years later in 1986, Haring

admired and was extremely inspired by the

lovingly created the Andy Mouse serigraph

work of fellow screen print artist Andy Warhol.

set of four screen prints, immortalizing Warhol

In his autobiography, Haring wrote: “You see,

with a character inspired by both artists’ mutual

my art wouldn’t have been possible without

admiration for the work of Walt Disney.

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SHEPARD FAIREY

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THE 1990’S Social Activism, Street Art & Andre the Giant

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hepard Fairey is one of America’s most

both pop culture and the art world, embracing

influential street artists. Fairey blurs the

marketing and advertising strategies as well

boundary between traditional and commercial

as political and social activism. One of his

art through type and image, communicating

most famous projects, Obey Giant, illustrated

his brand of social critique via screen prints,

Fairey’s interest in phenomenology and

murals, stickers, and posters in public spaces.

subversion as he quietly placed his Andre the

“Art is not always meant to be decorative

Giant stickers in cities across the world. Years

or soothing. It can create uncomfortable

later his poster Hope became a defining

conversations and stimulate uncomfortable

image of the 2008 presidential campaign,

emotions,” he stated. Fairey’s work originated

capturing Barack Obama’s message for

underground and has become prominent in

change with bold colors and clean lines.

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SOURCES Paparone, Nick; Dillon, Jamie; Jenison, Luren (2008-06-24). https://www.widewalls.ch/screen-printing-silksreen-prints/ http://revolverwarholgallery.com/andy-warhol-screenprintsprocess-history/ http://serieproject.org/screen-printing-trivia/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Screen_printing http://www.edcmktg.com/history-of-screen-printing/ https://www.artspace.com/shepard_fairey/

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Proposed S.A.M. Exhibit Promotional Booklet  

A proposed promotional collateral booklet for an upcoming art exhibit featuring the work of prominent twentieth-century screen print artists

Proposed S.A.M. Exhibit Promotional Booklet  

A proposed promotional collateral booklet for an upcoming art exhibit featuring the work of prominent twentieth-century screen print artists

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