Sam Francis's Trietto series, composed of five prints — Trietto 1, Trietto 2, Trietto 3, Trietto 4, and Trietto 5 — showcases the artist's vibrant use of colour and his lively approach to abstract expressionism. Created in the 1990s, these works are celebrated for their energetic splashes and pools of colour, which evoke a sense of movement and spontaneity, capturing the essence of Francis's experimental and emotive style.

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Meaning & Analysis

Sam Francis's Trietto series represents a compelling exploration into the complexities of colour interaction and the power of abstract forms. Each print in the series displays a distinctive composition where saturated colours interplay with the white of the canvas, creating a rhythmic and dynamic visual experience. Francis’s method involves layering translucent and opaque colours, which allows light to permeate through the pigments, enhancing the vibrancy of the hues and giving each work a luminous quality.

Named after the Italian word for trio, connoting a musical composition or dance, the series is a testament to Francis’s fascination with the emotional and psychological effects of movement and rhythm. The artworks in Trietto range from explosive and bold to subtle and nuanced, reflecting the interplay of his artistic process with the medium.

Each print in the series not only highlights Francis's mastery over the aquatint technique but also encapsulates his deep engagement with the spontaneous and fluid nature of painting. The Trietto series, with its free-form pools and splatters, showcases his ability to control the flow of paint while also letting go, allowing the colours to merge organically, which results in paintings that are simultaneously controlled and chaotic, meticulous and free.

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