30" x 22.5"
13 Color Plate Lithograph
Limited Edition of 125
Signed by the Artist, Barbara Rogers
Printed by Magnolia Editions
A Flamingo in the Garden of the Empress
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Lithographs differ from etchings, engravings, serigraphs, and woodcuts in materials and process. As opposed to many other print processes that depend upon incised or carved lines, lithography is a planographic process that depends upon the mutual repulsion of grease and water. For example, etchings and engravings are printed from a metal plate with incised lines while a lithograph is made from a chemically treated, flat surface. A serigraph is a silkscreen print, and woodcuts are printed from blocks of wood carved in relief.
To make a lithograph, the artist first draws an image, in reverse, on a fine-grained limestone or aluminum plate. For a one-color lithograph, this will be the only drawing. Each additional color will generally require a separate stone or plate.
Artists use the same kinds of tools they would for images on paper or canvas. However, since the basic principle of hand lithographic printing is the natural repulsion of grease and water, the crayons, pencils, and washes used in lithography have a high grease content.
Once the artist has finished drawing with the greasy black pigments, an artisan printer takes over and chemically treats the stones and/or plates to stabilize the image for printing. The printer sprinkles rosin on the surface to protect the drawing. Then he or she powders the surface with talc that helps the chemical etch lie more closely to the tiny grease dots that compose the drawing.
The etch, which is a solution of gum arabic and nitric acid, is then applied to the stone and left for about an hour to combine with the greasy particles and the calcium carbonate of the stone.
The printer then removes the original drawing materials with a solvent, leaving the greasy image barely visible on the stone. The printing inks, which are also greasy, will adhere to the image area. The stone's surface is kept wet, which prevents the ink from adhering to non-image areas.
At the press, the printer sponges the stone or plate with water, rolls it with ink, and prints a series of "trial proofs": the same image with different color and paper combinations. Generally the same piece of paper must pass through the press as many times as there are different colors. This process requires exact registration with each run, or pass, through the press.
When the artist is completely satisfied with the result, the final proof is signed by the artist as the bon à tirer ("good to pull"). With this as a standard, the printer is ready to pull the edition.
Once the edition has been printed, the stone or plate is destroyed or erased, ensuring that no more impressions can be printed. The curator checks each impression against the bon à tirer. The artist then signs and numbers the impression, for each work in the edition of prints,
What is an "edition" of prints?
Edition refers to all impressions of a particular image that are printed after the artist has given an approval to print. The artist and printer decide together the number of prints in an edition before the edition is printed.
Magnolia Editions is a fine art print studio in Oakland, California working for over two decades to produce and publish print multiples, unique artist's prints, works on paper and textiles, utilizing both traditional printing methods and the most advanced digital printing and Jacquard weaving techniques.
Magnolia Editions have collaborated extensively with artists on developing large-scale, public commissions. Working with the San Francisco Art Commission, Magnolia was actively involved in realizing works commissioned for the new San Francisco International Airport. Other public commissions in which Magnolia has played an active role include works for the San Francisco Superior Court Building, the Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco, the Homart Corporation in Glendale, California, the Cathedral of our Lady of Los Angeles and the San Jose Museum of Art.
Magnolia is particularly notable for its unorthodox editions, often produced by applying digital technology in novel ways. Director Donald Farnsworth has developed an innovative technique for weaving fine art Jacquard tapestries, using the power of digital technology and an ambitious printmaker's perspective to deliver color fidelity and detail levels previously unseen in the time-honored medium of warp and weft. Using Farnsworth's method, Magnolia has published editioned tapestries by artists including Chuck Close, Kiki Smith, Alex Katz, Hung Liu, Ed Moses, and Leon Golub. One such edition, Self-Portrait/Five Part by Chuck Close, is an enormous, twenty-foot long weaving based on five different daguerreotypes of the artist's face. Tapestries published by Magnolia have been exhibited worldwide at venues including the Whitney Museum of Art and the White Cube Gallery. Dharmakaya, a collaborative tapestry work by Donald and Era Farnsworth, was selected for inclusion in "The Missing Peace: Artists Consider the Dalai Lama," a traveling exhibit seen to date in Oslo, Tokyo, San Francisco, Miami, and Madrid.
After acquiring a large-scale flatbed acrylic printer in 2008, Farnsworth again broke new ground by repurposing this powerful industrial tool to create fine art in a variety of unusual media, from free standing works on panel like William Wiley's Goat with Attire to Deborah Oropallo's large-scale Wild Wild West prints on aircraft-grade aluminum, to mural-size works such as Clare Rojas's Blue Deer, installed at the San Francisco International Airport in December of 2009. Farnsworth has also developed a novel method for creating copper photogravure plates using the same printer, bypassing the darkroom and exploding the possibilities of a medium once thought to be all but obsolete.