Definition : Giclee
(zhee-klay) - The French word "giclée" is
a feminine noun that means a spray or a spurt of liquid. The word may
have been derived from the French verb "gicler" meaning "to
term "giclee print" connotes an elevation in printmaking
technology. Images are generated from high resolution digital scans
and printed with archival quality inks onto various substrates including
canvas, fine art, and photo-base paper. The giclee printing process
provides better color accuracy than other means of reproduction.
: Giclee prints are created typically using professional 8-Color to 12-Color
ink-jet printers. Among the manufacturers of these printers are vanguards
such as Epson, MacDermid Colorspan, & Hewlett-Packard. These modern
technology printers are capable of producing incredibly detailed prints
for both the fine art and photographic markets. Giclee prints are sometimes
mistakenly referred to as Iris prints, which are 4-Color ink-jet prints
from a printer pioneered in the late 1970s by Iris Graphics.
: Giclee prints are advantageous to artists who do not find it feasible
to mass produce their work, but want to reproduce their art as needed,
or on-demand. Once an image is digitally archived, additional reproductions
can be made with minimal effort and reasonable cost. The prohibitive
up-front cost of mass production for an edition is eliminated. Archived
files will not deteriorate in quality as negatives and film inherently
do. Another tremendous advantage of giclee printing is that digital
images can be reproduced to almost any size and onto various media,
giving the artist the ability to customize prints for a specific client.
: The quality of the giclee print rivals traditional silver-halide and
gelatin printing processes and is commonly found in museums, art galleries,
and photographic galleries.
: Numerous examples of giclee prints can be found in New York City at
the Metropolitan Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Chelsea
Galleries. Recent auctions of giclee prints have fetched $10,800 for
Annie Leibovitz, $9,600 for Chuck Close, and $22,800 for Wolfgang Tillmans
(April 23/24 2004, Photographs, New York, Phillips de Pury & Company.)