Alexander Heinrici (born 1945) continues to command a deep respect from artists and printers alike, largely due to the legacy of high-profile collaborations with the most notable 20th and 21st century artists like William de Kooning, Roy Lichtenstein, Damien Hirst, and of course, Andy Warhol. So lauded were Heinrici’s abilities, passed around through word of mouth at artist hangouts like Max’s Kansas City in Manhattan, that Warhol personally sought him out to print works that would eventually become his Mick Jagger and Ladies and Gentlemen series, among others. In 1972, Heinrici acquired Aetna Silkscreen Products, Inc., who Warhol previously engaged to print Marilyn Monroe, Flowers (1970), and Flash.
Alexander Heinrici was born in Vienna and attended the city’s die Graphische, a vocational college specializing in photography, graphic design, and print media. After graduation, he completed an apprenticeship in Zurich before heading back to Vienna to work for his grandfather’s printing equipment company. He opened his own studio twice: once in 1968, and after some desire to expand beyond the Viennese art scene, again in 1970, this time in New York. Heinrici’s earliest prints for Warhol date back to 1974, when he printed an atypically dark and color-inverted Campbell’s soup can for an art portfolio dedicated to art historian, Meyer Schapiro. In recent interviews, Heinrici has noted Warhol’s odd approach to silkscreened paintings. That is, Warhol preferred to apply a flat (i.e. glossless) paint after putting down a shiny enamel paint on canvases; this would result in small imperfections and bubbles. Despite his striving for machine-like precision, Warhol would tell Heinrici to intentionally make mistakes in his printing, so that prints would be more authentically Warhol.
Henrici continues to run his company, Fine Art Printing, Ltd., now based in Brooklyn, to this day. He has established working partnerships with a new generation of artists, notably Damien Hirst and Paul Stephenson.