[POP ART]. [TING, Walasse]. [FRANCIS, Sam (edited by)]

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[POP ART]. [TING, Walasse]. [FRANCIS, Sam (edited by)]

One Cent Life [1 ¢ Life]
Bern (Switzerland), E.W. Kornfeld, 1964; printed in Paris by Maurice Beaudet.

Elephant-folio format (overall size 412 x 290 mm). Numbered limited edition of 100 signed copies, this copy stamped no. 22 reserved for Paris. Lithographs mounted on tabs. 176 pages. 62 original color lithographs made by 28 artists each signed in pencil; 62 letterpress poems.


Signed binding by Leroux, dated 1987. Green varnished binding with inlays of green and pink flowers and luminescent lettering with plastic photographic imprint (collage of advertisements), centre of large orange flower hollowed out with see through plexiglas, array of small colored plastic beads in the hollowed plexiglas compartment, plastic photographic flyleaves, smooth spine. Binding placed in an articulated green and textile folder, slipcase. Dimensions: 315 x 423 mm.


This is the iconic 1964 publication created by the Chinese-American artist and poet Walasse Ting (1929-2010) and the Abstract Expressionist painter Sam Francis, featuring 62 colour lithographs by Pop artists including , including colourful lips by Warhol, abstract splatters by Mitchell, and cartoon girls by Lichtenstein. Fully-intact versions of the artists’ book rarely arrive on the market today.


This copy is one of the limited numbered signed copies (100), and this copy (numbered no. 22) was reserved for Paris. There were only 2000 copies printed in all.


Produced with the painter Sam Francis, it was published in 1964 by E. W. Kornfeld of Bern, Switzerland. The 170 lithograph pages were printed in Paris by Maurice Beaudet; the typography is handset letterpress by George Girard. Revolutionary in its assemblage of artifacts of Pop art, 1¢ Life is a compact visual manifesto of the 1960s: bright, psychedelic, and pulsating, a collaboration of artists who came together under Ting’s poetic street magic.



In 1962, the Chinese-American artist Walasse Ting shared his dream project with painter Sam Francis: to create an anthology of his poetry illustrated by leading artists of their time. Around Ting’s poems in “raunchy Pidgin English” were grouped 28 very different American and a few European painters. Over the next two years, Ting and Francis recruited Abstract Expressionists and Pop artists - Andy Warhol, Joan Mitchell, Robert Rauschenberg, and Roy Lichtenstein, among them - to create prints for their collaborative publication, which they playfully titled 1¢ Life : a limited run of 2000 copies was issued of which only the first 100 were limited signed copies. Fully-intact versions of this iconic “livre d’artiste” rarely arrive on the market today.


“1 Cent Life” was dedicated to the Detroit-based contemporary art collector Florence Barron, most famously known as the woman who in 1963, commissioned Andy Warhol to produce his first self-portrait. It’s speculated that Florence Barron put up the funds necessary to print the edition, as one of the main themes of her collection was her love of books and words and their relationship to contemporary art, advertising media and culture.


Illustration : 62 color lithographs on paper, of which 34 are double page, Pierre Alechinsky (5), Karel Appel (5), Enrico Baj (2), Alan Davie (2), Jim Dinne, Sam Francis (6 lithographs includin "Pink Venus Kiki"), Robert Indiana (2), Alfred Jensen, Asger Jorn (2), Alfred Leslie, Roy Lichtenstein (2, dont la couverture), Claes Oldenburg (3 : "Parade of Women" and "All Kinds of Love 1 & 2"), Mel Ramos (2), Robert Rauschenberg (2), Jean-Paul Riopelle, James Rosenquist, Antonio Saura, Walasse Ting, Bram van Velde, Andy Warhol ("Marilyn Monroe: I Love Your Kiss Forever Forever"), Tom Wesselmann (2) and many other American and European Pop artists.

Provenance: Collection Fred Feinsilber (Sotheby’s, 2006, n° 459). Sale Paris, Cornette de St-Cyr, 22 October 2012, lot 175.

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