SAM FRANCIS "BLUE CUT SAIL" LITHOGRAPH, 1969
A preeminent figure in 20th century abstraction, Sam Francis (1923-1994) is renowned for his dynamic and colorful works. Printmaking was an essential part of his practice. Similar to Robert Motherwell, Francis became so transfixed by the potential of the medium, he would create his own studio...but only after collaborating with the best American printing studios.
After his military service in WWII, Francis returned to California and received a Masters of Arts from Cal Berkeley in 1950. Taking advantage of the G.I. bill, Francis moved to Paris to further his education and devote himself to art making. This was a fortuitous move and by 1956, Times Magazine called him “The hottest American painter in Paris".
Francis’ aesthetic was shaped by access to Paris' world-renowned collections of art including French impressionists, as well as his contemporaries working in France including Jean-Peal Riopelle, and other ex-pats such as Al Held and Joan Mitchell. This diverse exposure continued as Francis travelled and held studios in continental Europe, Japan, Mexico, and the US during a forty-year period.
Francis is often considered as the leading member from the second generation of abstract expressionist artists. His work is easily recognizable for its vibrant saturated colors, its gestural arrangements and frequent open or untouched spaces.
Francis was featured in Clement Greenberg’s milestone exhibition, “Post Painterly Abstraction” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1964, alongside American artists including Jackson Pollock, Frank Stella, and Morris Louis.
Like many of his contemporaries, the artist, experimented extensively with printmaking, however Francis was an early adopter within abstract expressionist circles. Francis has an important relationship with the leading print studios of the day, notably Gemini and Tamarind, both in Los Angeles.
"Blue Cut Sail" is a fantastic example of Francis' printmaking as it manages to be both dynamic and joyous while simultaneously sparse with the celebratory colors nearly pushed to the margins.
Although this was a notably small edition, it can be found in several museum permanent collections including LACMA, the MoMA (NYC) and the Amnon Carter Museum of American Art (Fort Worth, Texas) and the Norton Simon Museum (California)
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Printed and published by Tamarind Los Angeles
Signed and numbered "Artist Proof" by the artist verso
Created as an edition of 20
22”H 30"W (work)
Very good condition
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