Returning a Star to the Sky by Tom Salvatore Fricano

Returning a Star to the Sky by Tom Salvatore Fricano

Returning a Star to the Sky

Tom Salvatore Fricano

Please call us at 707-546-7352 or email to purchase this item.

Returning a Star to the Sky

One block color masonite cut 
Image Size
20 x 12" image size 
pencil signed, lower right 
Edition Size
8 of 13  
pencil titled, dated, and editioned 
sturdy antique-white wove 
Inventory ID

"Returning a Star to the Sky" was done in 1953 while Tom Fricano was at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. The early 1950s printmaking departments around the US were either directly or indirectly influenced by S.W. Hayter's experimental printmaking workshop Atelier 17 in New York in the 40s and 50s. Many students went on to teach the ideas of materials experimentation that was an A17 hallmark.

Fricano used a single masonite block to cut this Modernist image, printing the colors a la poupeé in a single campaign, the colors varying slightly from impression to impression. The theme has a surrealist, mythic quality; a central goddess-like figure stands, with the seas beneath, the night sky to the left and day sky to the right, with a grey-green twilight above. She releases a star into the night sky which will come into view as night falls.

In his 2000 review of Fricano’s show “Transformation: The Nature of Abstraction” at the University of Judaism, critic Josef Woodard wrote:

“As an artist of restless creative instincts who seeks to work diligently at an idea or medium before moving on, Fricano works up variations on different visual themes….he’s from the school of modern artists for which exploratory impulse is its own reward.”

Thomas Salvatore Fricano, painter, printmaker, sculptor, and teacher, was born in Chicago, Illinois on October 28, 1930. In seventh grade, he received a scholarship for weekend art classes at the Art Institute of Chicago. Students had to apply themselves to earn a scholarship and Fricano received a yearly scholarship until he graduated from high school. He enrolled at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois on scholarship where he studied painting and was introduced to printmaking by John Ihle, Dow Mitchel, and Ernest Freed. He received his BFA degree from Bradley and his MFA degree at the University of Illinois, Urbana in 1956.

Fricano returned to Bradley as an instructor in printmaking, teaching between 1958 and 1963. He moved to Southern California and taught at California State University at Northridge from 1963 until his retirement in 2000. He was a visiting artist at numerous colleges throughout the United States, including Ohio State University, the Art institute of Chicago, and the Cranbrook Academy. He received a Fulbright scholarship in 1960 and used it to study in Italy. He also received the Louis Comfort Tiffany Residence Grant in 1965 and a John S. Guggenheim Memorial fellowship for 1969-1970.

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Please call us at 707-546-7352 or email to purchase this item.