The Prints of Sam Francis: A Catalogue Raisonne 1960-1990

Connie W. Lembark, Author, Ruth E. Fine, Introduction by
Connie W. Lembark, Author, Ruth E. Fine, Introduction by Hudson Hills Press $125 (611p) ISBN 978-1-55595-062-0
Reviewed on: 11/02/1992
Release date: 11/01/1992
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In a varied body of lithographs, etchings and screenprints, American painter Sam Francis (b. 1923) creates a universe out of splashes, dots, spatters and broad swaths of color. Snakes, horseshoes, sexual imagery, floral bouquets and streams emerge out of the void. Geometric shapes--triangles, concentric circles, pinwheels, wedges--sputter, fizz and decompose. Using highly individual techniques developed at his own lithography press to convey his themes, Francis draws on his extended stays in Japan, on his immersion in the works of Jung and on Jackson Pollock's drip paintings. Among the 383 color plates and 141 duotones are complex mandalas that quietly entice the viewer, and ``anima prints,'' linear works defining the inner self as a composite of Jungian archetypes. Many of the images may seem facile, but the overall effect is both dynamic and suggestive. Lembark is a Los Angeles art consultant, Fine a curator at the National Gallery of Art. (Dec.)
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