PRINT February 2003


Artforum, February 1973

Lawrence Alloway’s consideration of the work of Sam Francis ran in Artforum thirty years ago. Senior editor Eric Banks reassesses the career of the once-influential postwar critic.

THIRTY YEARS AGO THIS MONTH, Artforum published a five-page feature on the career of Sam Francis on the occasion of the artist’s retrospective at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, in Buffalo. Marked by the rather harsh judgment of its author (“Francis is a far less subtle painter in the ’60s than he was in the ’50s and similar declines can be proposed . . . in the cases of Noland, Stamos, Stella, and [Raymond] Parker”), the article was written by Lawrence Alloway (1926–90), a critic who had become a familiar presence in these pages. Over the previous year alone he had contributed studies of Lichtenstein, Rosenquist, and Smithson, covered Documenta 5, and written the essay “Network: The Art World Described as a

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