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Glossary

Archival
Archival materials should have superior aging properties and a neutral or slightly alkaline pH level.

AP (Artists Proof)
A designation for prints pulled outside the regular edition for artist approval and personal use. These prints are marked “AP”,”P/A” or “EA”, numbered separately and often represent 10% of the total edition.

Aquatint
In Intaglio printing technique, involving areas of tone rather than lines. A ground is used that is not completely impervious to acid, so that after acid-biting, a pebbly or granular texture is produced on the metal plate.

Etching
A type of print made by scratching marks onto the surface of a metal plate (usually copper, zinc, or steel) that has been treated with an acid-resistant waxy ground. When the plate is placed into a vat of acid, the acid bites through the exposed portions of the plate. The plate is inked, and an image is created by running the plate and paper through a printing press.

Giclee
A positive image composed of silver particles held in a binder layer of gelatin on paper common in early black and white photographs.

Hors-Commerce (HC)
These are not included in the number of an edition as they were not intended for sale, however they are usually exactly the same as the numbered edition in all other ways..

Linocut
An abbreviation of linoleum cut. The technique is a derivation of the woodcut but owing to the supple, relatively soft properties of the material, linocuts have different characteristics. The material takes all types of lines, but is most suited to large designs with contrasting dark and light flat tints. The material is cut with small pen-like tools which have a mushroom-shaped handle. The tools have a variety of forms: straight and rounded edge, double-pointed, as a chisel or a Vshaped chisel, etc. As on a woodcut, the relief parts of the block are inked. For printing a large number of important proofs, the lino is attached to a wooden block. Color printing is done with several lino blocks.

Lithograph
Lithography originally used an image drawn (etched) into a coating of wax or an oily substance applied to a plate of lithographic stone as the medium to transfer ink to a blank paper sheet, and so produce a print. In modern lithography, the image is made of a polymer coating applied to a flexible aluminum plate.

Modern Art
Modern Art or Modernism is the loose term given to the succession of styles and movements in art and architecture which dominated Western culture from 19th Century up until the 1960’s. Movements associated with Modern art include Impressionism, Cubism, Bauhaus, Surrealism, Futurism, Pop Art and Op Art.
Modern Art rejects the past as a model for the art of the present and is characterised by constant innovation. Modern Art grew out of the Impressionist’s rejection of the ‘imitation of life’ school of art. Their emphasis on the act of painting, on the paint itself, can be seen in the Expressionist and Cubist art of the turn-of-the-century. Modern art was also often driven by various social and political agendas. These were often utopian, and modernism was in general associated with ideal visions of human life and society and a belief in progress.

From the 1970’s artists and movements began to react against Modernism and post-modernism was formed.

Provenance
Provenance is the record of ownership, or a historic record of the various owners of a work of art. The word comes from the French verb provenir, meaning ‘to come from’.

Many artists and publishers now offer certificates of authenticity with limited edition prints, and these can be requested by buyers in the second-hand markets as provenance. However you can also use invoices, receipts and any other proof of purchase as provenance

Print
The image obtained from any printing element. Originally, this was either a metal plate, engraved in intaglio, or a wood block (or metal plate) cut in relief. From the beginning of the nineteenth century, lithographic stones were included, and today screenprinting adds a further type of printing element. An impression taken planographically from a painted surface may also be termed a print. In the past, a rigid distinction was observed between prints obtained by manual processes and reproductions obtained by photomechanical methods. This distinction has less value today, because reproductions have been incorporated into artists’ original prints and are therefore not solely produced, as originally intended, for mass production. A print is termed, “original” if the artist of the design has worked on the printing element himself, as opposed to reproductive and interpretative prints which involve the use of an intermediary person to reproduce the design onto the printing element. Original prints are often only produced in small numbers; they may be numbered and signed by the artist. These distinctions between reproductions (which occasionally may also be signed and numbered) and original prints are, however, generalized. In practice the frontiers are more imprecise, particularly in commercial printing. It must be noted that some people have a much more rigorous definition of an original print than others, e.g. of a photomechanically produced original print of which only a very small number of impressions, numeration and a certificate of authenticity will make it qualify.

Screenprint
An ancient method of oriental printmaking which, considerably modified and ameliorated, has become one of the four most important methods of modern printing. Contemporary artists have made much use of it as a printmaking technique. The principle of screenprinting consists in applying stencils to a screen (constructed of silk or of some synthetic or metallic material), in such a way that when ink is applied it is prevented from passing through some parts while penetrating the rest of the screen, thereby printing an image on paper placed underneath. The screen is stretched across a frame and attached to a base in such a manner that it can readily move up and down, so that paper can be easily placed and removed as required. For each impression, the paper is placed against registration tabs to ensure that the printing is done in the correct position. The ink is poured over the masking at one end of the screen and when this has been lowered into position, the ink is scraped across the screen with the aid of a squeegee. The most important part of the process is the preparation of the screen. Stencils may be applied in a variety of ways, including the use of filling-in liquid, varnish or plastic film. A drawing can be made directly on the surface with a special ink which is removed in readiness for printing after the rest of the screen has been blocked out. A photographic stencil is made by initially sensitizing the screen.

Suite
A set of prints dealing with the same subject, or by the same artist, which are published as a whole. It can also refer to a series of prints taken apart from an illustrated book.

Woodcut
A term loosely applied to any printmaking technique involving a relief image cut into the surface of a wooden block. The wood is covered with ink and applied to a sheet of paper; only the uncut areas of the block will print, while the cut away areas do not receive ink and appear white on the printed image

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