Sam Francis: The Litho Shop and The Lapis Press

Sam Francis The Litho Shop and The Lapis Press

Sam Francis works at The Litho Shop in Santa Monica

About: Sam Francis The Litho Shop and The Lapis Press

The Litho Shop and The Lapis Press were established by artist Sam Francis later in his career. The Litho Shop was established by Francis in 1970. Incorporated in 1974, the Santa Monica print shop became a haven for experimentation for Francis and other artists. Francis did not work singularly with the Litho Shop, but it was a place for him to experiment with his prints. He was free to do so because of the money he was making off his paintings. Francis was one of the first artists to have a print shop of his own with fulltime master printmakers. He worked very closely with Jacob Samuel, who worked at the Litho Shop for 18 years, and master printmaker George Page. They are said to have had a very good relationship filled with mutual respect. The Litho Shop was not only for lithography, but also a studio with etching capability – something that Jacob Samuels brought to the table.

The Lapis Press was established in 1984 by Sam Francis as a publishing house for texts with inviting visuals accompanying them. Francis was not just a painter, but also wrote creatively. This was the case with many artists, who expressed themselves in multiple ways, not just through their material arts. The Lapis Press still exists to this day in Culver City, California. The Lapis Press continues to be committed to artists and has an artist in residency program. They also continue to publish books in the spirit of Sam Francis.



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