Gallery Prints Artist Proofs

What is an artist’s proof?

The term artist proof, or épreuve d’artiste (French), is used in connection with any artwork or sculpture that is reproduced in limited numbers. Artists will commonly retain 10-15% of a limited edition for their own use and these proofs are usually identified by an abbreviation (typically AP, A/P, A.P.) where the edition number would normally appear.

An Artist Proof is a print made using the same process of a limited edition, but it is used by the artist to quality check the image before production begins rather than to be sold as a part of the edition itself.

Traditionally, artists would use a proof to visually calibrate the colour and detail in their lithograph or serigraph by making small tweaks throughout the printing process. Therefore, the artist proof was a working image that often featured imperfections compared to the final edition prints.

In today’s digital era, the definition of an artist proof has changed. Artist proofs are now typically identical to the limited edition prints because they are a series of final test prints produced after all of the corrections have been made to the digital file and the printer’s calibration software, meaning all edition prints are then produced using the exact same data and inks.

Artist Proof vs Numbered Edition

Although artist proofs are often identical to numbered prints from the same edition, they are not produced as part of the edition and are considered to be a unique print in themselves.

Artist proofs have become some of the most valuable prints that collectors prize because they were the very first prints produced by the artist, are not part of the numbered edition and are very rare.

All Ross Jones’ editions are produced with no more than 5 artist proofs for each edition and are numbered accordingly.

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