Lot Details

This scarce and classic 3 color Sam Francis lithograph with deckled edges is from the limited edition of only 100 and was created in the most desirable and influential era - the Sixties. It would be one of the most productive phases of Sam Francis' career, when he had returned to California after having lived in Europe and Asia.

Sam Francis (1923-1994) was an integral member of the Abstract Expressionist movement, known for his vivid colors and splattered paint effects. Along with his counterpart in New York, Robert Motherwell, Francis embraced the medium of printmaking early on, becoming one of the most dedicated and prolific printmakers. At one time, he even opened his own print shop.

This untitled abstract color lithograph was created as part of the legendary 'Portfolio 9' in 1967. It was housed in a gray cloth-colored box with maroon paper inner panels and a large maroon "9" designed by Richard Lindner on the cover. Portfolio 9 featured nine of the most important artists of the era, representative of the three major trends: Pop Art, Minimalism and Abstract Expressionism: Roy Lichtenstein, Saul Steinberg, Richard Lindner, Robert Motherwell, Henry Pearson, Louise Nevelson, Sam Francis, Willem de Kooning- and Ellsworth Kelly. The Introduction to the portfolio was written by Una E. Johnson, Curator of Prints & Drawings, The Brooklyn Museum. Wrote Johnson in 1967 for the colophon page: "The artists were selected to demonstrate the great diversity and character of lithography in the United States today...the dialogue of diverse forms and many faceted idioms that compose this graphic journal mirror the eloquence and delight the strengths and caprices of a period. Furthermore, they reflect in fine measure the creative achievements of artists attuned to their time.."

Nearly half a century later, this print has become more scarce, as so many of the 100 are already in the collections of major institutions world wide including the Smithsonian and the Albright Knox Gallery.

The lithograph offered here has superb provenance: it comes directly from 'Portfolio 9', numbered 9/100. (The fact that it happens to be number 9 - from Portfolio 9 makes it especially collectible!) This is the very first time since 1967 that this hand signed & numbered print will be separated from the original portfolio presentation box.

It is fully referenced in the catalogue raisonne "The Prints of Sam Francis", I-87, Lembark.

Read more
Publication: The Prints of Sam Francis,A Catalogue Raisonne 1960-1990, Volume I, Connie W. Lembark, Hudson Hills Press, New York, 1992
Catalogue Raisonné: I-87, p.146, Lembark
No condition report has been added for this lot. Please contact the specialist for further information.
Exhibition:
Houston, 1967
Redding, 1969
Los Angeles 1974
  • Ships From: New York, USA
  • Shipping Dimensions: 22 x 17 in. (55.88 x 43.18 cm.)
Accepted: Wire Transfer, Check
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