Sam Francis Aquatints

Sam Francis’s aquatints are known for their vast tonal range, and lyrical exploration of color. Executed in his distinct style, Sam Francis used aquatint, a technique of intaglio printmaking which etches areas of tone rather than thinly etched lines. Francis would often utilize sugar-lift and spit-bite in his aquatints which create a look that is both spontaneous and painterly, with an appearance that oftentimes mimics splatters and brushstrokes. In this medium, Francis was able to further explore his interest in color and texture. Because the plates used with this method can be wiped and printed form again, Francis would often create unique trial proofs in distinct colorations. These rare, one-of-a-kind pieces are arguably his most undervalued on the market.