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Sam Francis

This prolific, Californian artist created the bulk of his signature works during the mid-20th century. Echoing the style of his contemporaries, the… [Read biography »]

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Sam Francis Biography

Sam FrancisSam Francis (1923 - 1994)

This prolific, Californian artist created the bulk of his signature works during the mid-20th century. Echoing the style of his contemporaries, the Abstract Expressionists, his boldly-colored, monochromatic pieces made way for the more exciting, movement-driven, multi-faceted splatter/brush paintings. His later works focused areas of paint and color around the canvas edges, exposing the white and blank spaces in between.  

Born in San Mateo, California during the roaring 20s, Francis attended the University of California, Berkeley where he was vested in the study of sciences – particularly, botany, medicine, and psychology. He was later to serve in the U.S. army during WWII where he was seriously injured and spent several years, bed-ridden in the hospital.

It was during his time in the hospital ward that Francis learned how to paint and expressed his emotions and frustrations of his medical ailments through his works.  Upon his release from the hospital, Francis spent some time traveling during the 1950s throughout Paris and later, Japan.

Ref.

      Herskovic, M. (2003). American Abstract Expressionism of the 1950s An Illustrated Survey. New York School Press: New York.

      Plagens, P. (March 1999). Sunny side up - abstract expressionist painter Sam Francis. Artforum. 

Why Francis?

Original, signed Sam Francis paintings, lithographs, and drawings all show the influence of Color Field painters, Abstract Expressionism, and Buddhism. He is associated with Tachisme and created large format canvases for his mature work.

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