From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Screenprinting, silkscreening, or serigraphy is a printmaking technique that creates a sharp-edged image using a stencil. A screenprint or serigraph is an image created using this technique. In late 1961, Andy Warhol learned the process of silkscreening from Floriano Vecchi and brought the technique to high art.
History 1960s to present
Credit is generally given to the artist Andy Warhol for popularizing screen printing identified as serigraphy, in the United States. Warhol is particularly identified with his 1962 depiction of actress Marilyn Monroe screen printed in garish colours.
American entrepreneur, artist and inventor Michael Vasilantone would develop and patent a rotary multicolour garment screen printing machine in 1960. The original rotary machine was manufactured to print logos and team information on bowling garments but soon directed to the new fad of printing on t-shirts. The Vasilantone patent was soon licensed by multiple manufacturers, the resulting production and boom in printed t-shirts made the rotary garment screen printing machine the most popular device for screen printing in the industry. Screen printing on garments currently accounts for over half of the screen printing activity in the United States.
Graphic screenprinting is widely used today to create many mass or large batch produced graphics, such as posters or display stands. Full colour prints can be created by printing in CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black ('key')). Screenprinting is often preferred over other processes such as dye sublimation or inkjet printing because of its low cost and ability to print on many types of media.
Screen printing lends itself well to printing on canvas. Andy Warhol, Rob Ryan (artist), Blexbolex, Arthur Okamura, Robert Rauschenberg, Harry Gottlieb, and many other artists have used screen printing as an expression of creativity and artistic vision.