Untitled abstraction (from "A Travel Book") by Fred Martin

Untitled abstraction (from A Travel Book) by Fred Martin

Untitled abstraction (from "A Travel Book")

Fred Martin

Please call us at 707-546-7352 or email artannex@aol.com to purchase this item.

Untitled abstraction (from "A Travel Book")


Fred Martin

  1927 - 2022 (biography)
screenprint with added color 
Image Size
14 1/2 x 27" image size 
pencil, lower right 
Edition Size
23 of 26  
pencil dated after signature, editioned in lower left 
Illustrated on cover of "A Travel Book" 
antique-white Milbourn watermarked laid 
Arion Press, San Francisco. Collection Oakland Museum 
Inventory ID

The author and artist, then dean of the San Francisco Art Institute, collaborated with Andrew Hoyem on the first Arion Press livre d'artiste. Entries from a diary kept by Martin during a journey more than halfway around the world and his selections from nineteenth-century travel writings are intricately combined with multi-color drawings on every page. The illustrations were printed in black from photo-engravings and in colors from linoleum blocks. The type is handset Inkunabula. The paper was specially made from cotton fiber by the Curtis Paper Company.

Fred Martin studied at the University of California at Berkeley where he received his B.A. degree in 1949 and M.A. degree in 1954. While at Berkeley, Martin studied under Erle Loran, Glenn Wessels, and Margaret O'Hagan. He later studied at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco with David Park, Mark Rothko, and Clyfford Still.

Martin launched his career in San Francisc, exhibiting at the city's avant-garde galleries including the Beat Generation gallery 'The Six', in San Francisco's North Beach, the gallery where Allan Ginsberg first read 'Howl'. He also exhibited at the Spatsa, and Dilexi galleries, all of which prioritized artistic and personal exploration over identification with established artistic movements or financial success.

In 1954, Martin was hired by the Oakland Art Museum as registrar and worked there for four years. He joined the faculty of the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute), served as the gallery director, and was appointed director of the college in 1965, a post he held until 1975. He later became Emeritus Dean of Academic Affairs.

The first solo exhibition of his work was mounted in 1949 at Bern Porter's Contemporary Gallery in Sausalito, California and his was included that same year in a group exhibition of painting and sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. A retrospective exhibition was assembled in 2003 at the Oakland Museum of California and, in 2014, his work was highlighted in the exhibition Fred Martin and Friends in the Fifties: Oh How Much It Hurt at the Ever Gold Gallery in San Francisco.

Martin was a contributing editor to Artweek between 1976 and 1992. His artist's books include Beulah Land, published by Crown Point Press in 1966; A Travel Book, published by Arion Press in 1977; and From an Antique Land, published in 1979 by Green Gates Press. His work is represented in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Oakland Art Museum, the Richmond Art Center, the Crocker Art Museum, the Fogg Museum at Harvard University, and the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

Fred Martin retired from teaching in 2016 and continued to work in his Oakland, California studio. Fred died in Berkeley, Califormia on October 10, 2022.


Please call us at 707-546-7352 or email artannex@aol.com to purchase this item.