Sam Francis, Lesson of Darkness
Afterword by Geoffrey Bennington
Edited by Herman Parret
Translated by Geoffrey Bennington
The second volume in the series Jean-François Lyotard—Writings on Contemporary Art and Artists introduces forty-two poetical reflections and comments on the work of the well-known Californian painter Sam Francis (1923–1994). This new edition reprints the English text, which is no longer available, with the previously unpublished French original on facing pages. In Lyotard's opinion Sam Francis's work "pays homage to the visible marvel and bears witness to the visual enigma." Color evokes conflicting feelings in the artist: ". . . color says to me: 'Come, I am your consolation, I cure your melancholy, love me,' and it says to me: 'Go, I am your deception, traverse me, lose yourself and enough of absent truth.'" Lyotard is the first to see through the subtle variety of meanings in Sam Francis's use of color. This edition also reproduces in full color all forty-two paintings discussed by Lyotard.