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Andy Warhol and his Printers

The creation of a Warhol screenprint required two major components: Warhol’s creative genius and the printer to execute the idea. Warhol employed various printing studios and individual printers as the demand for his work increased.

The major printing studios and printers he used were Styria Studios Inc., Alexander Heinrici, and Rupert Jasen Smith, who did the majority of his printing. Other printers he used include Salvatore Silkscreen Co., who was responsible for Warhol’s soup cans, and Aetna Silkscreen Productions, who developed his Flowers series.

Styria Studios Inc. is a New York based publishing company who printed one of Warhol’s most infamous series, Mao, in 1972. Comprised of 10 prints, this became a controversial and iconic series of work for him and put Styria Studios on the map.

Alexander Heinrici who printed his Ladies and Gentlemen and Jagger series was one of Warhol’s most trusted silkscreeners and the first individual printer he went to after using industrial publishing companies like Salvatore Silkscreen Co. and Aeta Silkscreen Products Inc. Heinrichi also printed his Flowers (Hand Colored) portfolio and Paloma Picasso. Heinrici was Warhol’s primary printer from 1974 to 1976, when he began to publish his own prints under Andy Warhol Enterprises, Inc.

Gerard Malanga Photo Credit: David McCabe
Gerard Malanga
Photo Credit: David McCabe

In 1977, Warhol decides to employ Rupert Jasen Smith as his printer for the Hammer and Sickle series. Warhol was so pleased with his work that he allowed him to place his printer’s stamp right next to his signature on all their works together and made Smith his master printmaker and art director, which would last until Warhol’s death in 1987.

Some of the works featuring his stamp are his portraits of Princess Grace of Monaco, Ingrid Bergman, Mickey Mouse and Edward Kennedy as well as the following series: Reigning Queens, Endangered Species, and Shoes. Smith was such a well­known artist in his own right that contemporary artists Larry Rivers, Keith Haring, Kenny Scarf and Francesco Scavullo also feature his stamp on works. Many claim that Warhol would have never been able to maintain the extensive production of prints without Jasen-Smith’s help.

This article was written courtesy of Revolver Gallery, located at 9459 Charleville Blvd., Beverly Hills Ca 90212.