Object Title:





Richard Francisco


American, born 1984


Paper, balsa wood, graphite, colored pencil, and acrylic on cardboard


10 1/2 x 13 x 2 1/2 in. (26.7 x 33 x 6.4 cm)

Credit Line:

Gift of the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States, a joint initiative of the Trustees of the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection and the National Gallery of Art, with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute for Museum and Library Services, 2009

Object Number:



California artist Richard Francisco moved to New York in the late 1960s after a year of trekking through Europe following his high school graduation. In 1973, he had his first solo exhibition at Betty Parsons Gallery, and since then he has exhibited regularly in the United States and in Europe. Like Richard Tuttle (who also showed at Parsons) and Don Hazlitt, Francisco is associated with post-minimalism, a trend that emerged in the 1960s in which process, time, and the fluid boundaries between media became motivating forces in the creation and continuity of artwork. In Francisco's work, drawing enters into dialogue with sculpture. He once proclaimed that he "would rather build a drawing than draw a drawing," and his two works on view here illustrate his draftsman's approach. The small untitled drawing, with its three registers of rectangles containing varying compositional configurations, appears to be a working study for the larger relief construction Golgotha, in keeping with the longstanding tradition of the preliminary sketch. Golgotha itself—with its heavily wrought lines radiating from the upper right corner, its freehand tree form folded to protrude into space, and its highly degradable cardboard support—is as much a constructed drawing as it is a sculptural form, for it belies the solidity and permanence of sculpture and throws space into ambiguity. The Vogels met Francisco in 1972 and since then have collected his work in depth. For Dorothy Vogel, he brings "a California flavor to the collection with his personal, playful, whimsical sensitivity and sensibility."