Archives for category: Vertical screen printing

Untitled by Bill Fick


When most people think of screen printing they usually visualize Warhol’s “Marilyn” or an indie rock gig poster or a pastel colored beachscape print, but not many folks know that screen prints can also be found printed directly on walls. This summer I had the opportunity to make a mural on a wall in Perkins library (in a hallway leading to the Gothic Reading Room) using a vertical screen printing technique that I’ve been researching. The project is the culmination of a Collaboration Development Grant from the Duke Council for the Arts. The grant also involved bringing Dutch artist Stefan Hoffmann to Duke to share his highly developed vertical screen printing methods with me, students, staff and Art, Art History and Visual Studies professor Merrill Shatzman.

Beyond applying newly developed vertical screen printing techniques, the mural also gave me the opportunity to take advantage, and bring attention, to the Edwin and Terry Murray Comic Book Collection found in the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library. In the past four years I’ve been using the Murray Collection as a teaching tool and resource for my Art of the Comic Book and Zines class. The mural design used appropriated images taken from an assortment of comics found in the collection. These included Marge’s Little Lulu and Tubby, Classics Illustrated – The Black Tulip, The Mark of Zorro and Walt Disney’s Donald Duck. I also used images taken from books found in the Lilly Library comics and graphic novels section (A Steve Ditko monograph and Love and Rockets, New Stories No. 1 by the Hernandez brothers). The images ranged from faces/heads to a standing figure to a tulip flower. I really wasn’t thinking about content but more about interesting shapes and forms – although I did use some text that related to the location of the piece.

The concept for the mural was to make a colorful and active design that used pop culture and street art/graffiti strategies (practiced by contemporary artists like Shepard Fairey, Faile, Bäst and pioneered by artists like Polke, Rauschenberg, Lichtenstein, Warhol). This included layering, repetition and patterning which can be easily implemented using the vertical screen printing method – one image per screen applied to the wall over and over again. This method also yields unexpected relationships between content and shapes that I find very exciting. The viewer can make their own narrative or allow it to be purely decorative. For this reason, the mural is untitled.

The project was made possible by a Collaboration Development Grant from the Council for the Arts, Office of the Provost, Duke University. Thanks again to Meg Brown.

Bill Fick, August 2011

Here’s a vertical screen printed mural being made by Bill Fick in Perkins Library at Duke University (same location as the one Stefan Hoffmann made back in February). The images have been appropriated from comics found in the Murray Comic Book Collection at Duke.

In February 2011 Stefan Hoffmann created an intervention at Duke University’s Perkins Library. Very interesting piece that used found objects and images from the library. The project was made possible by a Collaboration Development Grant from the Council for the Arts, Office of the Provost, Duke University. Thanks to Meg Brown for all her help! See better documentation of this project at Hoffmann’s website.

technical guide to windowprinting from Stefan Hoffmann on Vimeo.

Here’s a video of Stefan Hoffmann working with printmaking students from the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam.

Here’s a video of Stefan Hoffman working on his project called SMILE! at Phoenix Brighton in Brighton England.

Das Auge der Zeit, window printing CBK Rotterdam

le beurre, l'argent du beurre, baiser la cremiere (2), wall and window installation, 2008, doppelde, Dresden Germany

le beurre, l'argent du beurre, baiser la cremiere (2), wall installation, 2008, doppelde, Dresden Germany

Stefan Hoffmann is a Dutch artist whose work can be seen in Europe and North America. He is a master practitioner of the vertical screen printing method. Check out his website and Vimeo page for excellent documentation of his work.

His artist statement:
I work with a large number of screens with a wide range of imagery. Pictograms, medical illustrations, imagery from 17th century emblemabooks to name just a few. I specifically try to incorporate ‘local’ visual elements I find in or around the working location in this way reacting on the specific circumstances. In every project there is a combination of new and existing screens, gradually changing my visual alphabet. Except for the preparation of the screens there is no over all preliminary design
The proces of printing is a very important factor. Sometimes it is a short time intervention like on the billboards. But most of the times the printing takes weeks allowing a gradual growth and also giving the public the opportunity to follow the creative proces. After applying layers and layers of imagery, I also start removing parts again, untill a final state is reached. The projects are generally temporary but can be made permanent by adding a protective layer