A serigraph is a screen-printed copy of an original painting.
In serigraphy, ink is forced through a fine screen onto the paper beneath. Screens were originally made of silk, but are now made of finely woven polyester or nylon.
The screen is stretched over a wooden or aluminium frame with areas of the screen blocked off with a negative stencil of the image. The screen is placed onto the paper and ink is placed on the screen, a rubber-bladed squeegee is used to spread the ink evenly across the screen allowing the ink to pass through the open spaces onto the paper below.
A different screen is used for each colour in the print, resulting in a final serigraph with bold colour density, deep colour saturation and paint-like textured layers of ink.
Serigraphs are not simple reproductions of original art, they require the involvement of the original artist and the printer. The printer creates serigraphs by cutting stencils, colour matching and manually applying even coats of colour. This is a long, expensive and highly-skilled process.
Each serigraph is inspected by the original artist prior to signing and numbering.
Example: Elegant Thief is a fourteen colour serigraph, meaning it requires fourteen colours to be applied during production:
The traditional method of identifying authorised copies of paintings is to sign and number them individually in pencil at the bottom of the image.
Josh Agle’s limited-edition prints are all marked in the following manner:
- The hand-written signature is on the lower right
- Although rare in Shag’s prints, the title (when present) is in the lower centre
- The limited-edition number is included on the lower left
Example: “487/500” – “The Boardmeeting” – “SHAG signature”
This means that this copy is number 487 out of a limited edition of 500 prints. The title of the piece is “The Boardmeeting” and it was painted by Shag.
Josh Agle personally signs all limited-edition prints.
It is very uncommon for the title of the piece to be present upon Shag’s limited edition prints. However, the title was printed on some early prints and occasionally is hand-written on printer proofs.
The numbering hand-written on the lower left of each limited-edition print shows both the unique number of the print (the first number shown) and the total number of impressions in that edition (the second number shown).
Most prints are released with a single edition, in a few cases, there are additional colour variant editions. Note that the numbering sequence does not necessarily reflect the order of printing as prints may be dried in racks without a specific order, and subsequently be removed for signing and numbering.
Additional prints, in excess of the numbered edition, are created following general art guidelines. In Shag’s case, these additional prints are labelled either artist proofs and printer proofs.
An artist proof (AP) is a good impression of the finished work taken in the printmaking process to assess the quality of the imprint. Artist proofs are considered desirable due to their rarity but are identical to the standard edition (except they do not include a certificate of authenticity). Artist proofs are generally up to ten percent of the total edition size and are labelled with “A.P.”, for example:
A printer’s proof (PP) is a complimentary copy of the print given to the publisher. The number of printer’s proofs is very limited, based upon the number of craftsmen involved in the production. Due to their rarity printer’s proofs fetch higher prices but are identical to the standard release (minus the certificate of authenticity). An example of a rare printer’s proof is shown below:
An edition is the total number of impressions from a given matrix. Calculate the total edition size by adding up the numbers of individual copies, for example – in 2000 Outré Gallery Press released Yanomami Hunter with the following impressions:
- 150 Limited-edition prints – 1/150 through 150/150
- 15 Artist Proofs – AP 1/15 through AP 15/15
- 3 Printer’s Proofs – PP 1/3 through PP 3/3
- Total Edition Size for print Yanomami Hunter is 168
Note that further editions, such as second or third, are possible to multiply the total quantity of an edition of prints while retaining the illusion of a small limited edition size by keeping the hand-inscribed numbers low. This has not been done with Josh Agle’s work which is a positive step in maintaining the value of released prints.
The Josh Agle prints are shown within this section by the year in which they were first released. A search box is included below the menu on the left to allow easier location of known pieces. If you have further information on the listed prints or know of other prints that I have not included, then please send me an e-mail, and I will add the information to this website.
Use the left-hand Limited Edition Prints sub-menu to select the year or use the links below:
Note: An asterisk to the right of the number in the Edition Size column shows that the displayed print details have been verified against an official certificate of authenticity.