Screen Printing - June/July 2018 - 22
Michel Caza's 55 years as a leading fine-art serigrapher
set him apart as a pioneer in screen printing.
STEVE DUCCILLI, ASDPT
ver the course of a remarkable, six-decade career, Michel
Caza has done it all in specialty printing. Co-founder of FESPA
(and a board member for 44 years); author of hundreds of technical articles and six books; winner of more than 350 SGIA and
FESPA awards; lecturer who has taught advanced techniques to
thousands of students around the globe; technology developer
noted, among many achievements, as the pioneer of a continuous tone process that was decades ahead of its time - it is the
CV of perhaps the world's most famous printer.
Yet it was Caza's work in fine-art serigraphy that drew him
the most acclaim, and not just inside the industry. Between
1960 and 2015, Caza produced nearly 2400 projects including original serigraphs, reproductions, art posters, catalogs,
and other unique works - every one of them screen printed.
He worked with 720 artists in all, including some of the most
celebrated of the modern era.
In May, Caza celebrated this legacy with the release of a
new book chronicling his many adventures in the fine arts.
Michel Caza: The Chameleon of Contemporary Art traces
the unlikely path that began in 1954 in Stockholm, where
Caza was a jazz-obsessed university student intending to
stay for a month - he stayed for 19 - while working on his
sociology degree. The story takes us through jazz clubs where
Caza did frescoes of famous musicians and later took the
stage as a singer, then to the finest restaurants of Stockholm,
where he would draw caricatures of the establishments' best
customers in exchange for his meals. Finally, and purely by
chance, he discovered his true calling.
In 1965, a year after opening his first business, Caza's fineart career took off after he applied his new continuous-tone
technique to a Renoir reproduction, leading to sizable demand
for similar projects featuring the works of other masters. Soon,
artists and publishers from around the world sought him out,
not just for his exceptional quality but also his reputation for
finding ingenious solutions to difficult projects.
How challenging? Imagine doing a reproduction of a painting that had been done entirely in cosmetics, which never dry.
Or a print on ocher paper without the use of white ink. Or a
dress designed by Paco Rabanne composed entirely of small
aluminum panels that would be printed with famous monu-
Above: Caza, in 1985, developing the fine details in a screen for a Fromme-Douglas serigraph shown on pg. 27.