Description & Technical information

The present sheet, which is datable to c.1976, is part of Vivian Springford’s Expansionist series of vivid abstract works, which were, for the most part, painted on high-quality Arches paper rather than canvas. As has been noted of the series, ‘The Expansionist works are divided between treatments of what [the artist] saw during the eruption of the Soufrière volcano on the island of Guadalupe in 1976 – intense reds, oranges and blues flow in every direction – and lunar studies, cool blues of the moon and clouds. The Expansionist works are denser in color than the Cosmos paintings. Often they feature a curved bar of dark color, a high tide mark which resolves the composition into a form resembling a horizon, or wave top, that invokes the line of energy found in the composition of traditional Chinese painting.’

Another writer has added that, ‘Springford’s Expansionist series…references the ever expanding universe. We can almost see this movement as Springford’s colors seem to seep outward, drawn out by the paper’s absorbent pulp…The Expansionist series reveals Springford’s remarkable dexterity with her chosen medium.’ Indeed, this small but luminous sheet attests to the fact that, as a third writer has pointed out, ‘[Springford’s] works on paper, though modest in size, reveal a sophisticated balance of control and freedom.’

Provenance: The estate of the artist
W. Alexander, New York
Private collection, California
Anonymous sale, Chicago, Wright, 18 November 2020, lot 126
Private collection, Washington, D.C.