Richard Francisco, altered postcard with personal message, signed "R. 84" on front, postmarked 1984 (recto)

Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection of Artist Postcards, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, Gallery Archives

Richard Francisco

American, Born 1942

After graduating from high school in Napa Valley, California, Richard Francisco worked for a year to earn enough money to travel through Europe. He spent more than a year trekking through Europe and the Middle East and shared a studio with Dutch art historian Ernst van de Wetering in Amsterdam, before settling in New York in the late 1960s. In 1973 he had his first solo show at Betty Parsons Gallery, and the following year he exhibited at the Henie-Onstad Art Center in Norway and at Daniel Weinberg in San Francisco. Since then, Francisco has shown regularly in Europe and the United States. The Vogels amassed many works by the artist, and—as with Richard Tuttle and Charles Clough—every gift in the Vogel 50/50 project includes Francisco’s work.

Francisco is known for watercolors and balsa wood constructions, which the artist considers to be paintings or drawings, not sculptures. In a description of his work for the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Francisco wrote: “I would rather build a drawing than draw a drawing.” His work is generally colorful, abstract, and small in scale.

Heather Campbell Coyle, Delaware Art Museum, January 2010
All works by Richard Francisco
To Have It About You: The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection

4 x 7 selections from the Vogel collection. Wayne, NJ: Ben Shahn Center for the Visual Arts, Department of Art, William Paterson College, 1981.

Constructed Paintings, with an essay by Julia Boyd, Ann Chenoweth, and Meredith Chapman. Richmond, Virginia: The Institute of Contemporary Art of the Virginia Museum, 1982.

R. J. Francisco, with a statement by the artist. Amsterdam: Stedelijk Museum, 1980.

Richard Francisco, Selected Works. Stavanger, Norway: Rogaland Museum of Fine Arts.