Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Giclée and atelier

I discovered the word, giclée, when I was in Northampton. I checked out an Art shop there, and kept finding the word on all the labels attached to paintings around the shop. Had to ask what it meant and was surprised to discover that these wonderful reproductions were printed on laser printers.
And the same word turned up in the Bedford where we also visited an Art shop (it turned out to be a kind of sister shop to the other one), by which time I was au fait with giclée.
Art works done in this fashion tend to be very pricey: that’s not surprising, as the process of making them is rather more complex than older print approaches. An article on Wikipedia explains how it’s done in more detail than I can comprehend (not really, I just couldn’t be bothered reading it properly), but doesn’t mention another print approach that’s also changing the face of art works. This is called ‘atelier’.
Now the word atelier has long had connections with the art scene, but here it seems to be being used in a different way again. I inquired of the proprietor of the first art shop what they meant by atelier being listed on some of the paintings. She said that they were produced in a similar way to the giclée, but then, to give them the feel of real paintings, the artist or an assitant reproduced the actual texture of the painting, so that real brush strokes appear on the works. This is particularly effective in the work of an artist like Alexander Millar, who does thickly painted pieces centering on ‘gadgies,’ little old men in cloth caps and old suits, and their womenfolk.

Check out the link to Alexander Millar for a number of examples of his amusing and delightful paintings.
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