Sam Francis: A Rising Market

Sam Francis: A Rising Market


  • Continuing to exceed expectation, Sam Francis Composition, 1954 sold for $2,172,500, outside of the 1 million to 1.5 million estimate, at Sotheby’s New York on November 18th, 2016.
  • Sam Francis Summer No. 1, 1957 sold at Sotheby’s for 11,842,000, on the upper side of the expected range.

Sam Francis (San Mateo, 1923- Santa Monica, 1994) is a Californian artist whose popularity continues to soar in the art market. His genre of painting and printmaking falls under abstract expressionism, a term which also applies to artists like Richard Diebenkorn, Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline. An important predecessor to the movement was surrealism, which stressed the importance of spontaneity and subconscious creation. True to the style, Francis’ works oftentimes feature splotches of vibrant color painted dramatically onto the canvas. Without prescribed boundaries and structure, the works are immediately recognizable for their exuberant appearance.

Sam Francis Middle Blue, 1957 oil on canvas

Sam Francis Middle Blue, 1957, Oil on canvas ($6.35m at Christie’s)

Auction Projections for May, 2016

Sam Francis Summer No 1 1957 Oil on Canvas

Sam Francis, Summer No 1 1957, Oil on Canvas (8-12m USD from Sotheby’s)

This May, both Sotheby’s and Christie’s will offer striking Sam Francis works in a market that is gaining traction. Past auction records from both companies show in 2010, Francis’ “Middle Blue” earned $6.35 million at Christie’s. Years prior, Sotheby’s sold another Francis for $1.14 million. Next month, both auction houses will once more return their focus to Francis. Summer #1, 1957 is projected by Sotheby’s to earn between $8 and $12 million. Achieving or exceeding the high price would set a record amount for Sam Francis. Based on these predictions, we can see that the Sam Francis market has greatly strengthened and is projected to increase its presence in the foreseeable future.

View our collection of beautiful Sam Francis prints and paintings.

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