Sam Francis (American, 1923-1994). Monotype with Winsor Newton oil paints, powdered pigment, and ink on handmade paper depicting a pound sign or hash mark, 1979. Pencil signed along the lower right. Catalog No. EXP-SF-16-01.
Sam Francis came to be an artist under unlikely circumstances. After serving the Air Force during World War II, Francis was injured during flight test maneuvers and subsequently hospitalized. It was while he was recovering that he first began to paint. Francis went on to graduate from the University of California, Berkeley in 1950 with a degree in art and began his European travels. His first stop was Paris, where he studied Monet's "Water Lilies" and developed a relationship with the Matisse family and artists such as Al Held, Joan Mitchell, and Jean-Paul Riopelle. He went on to develop and maintain studios in Bern, Paris, Tokyo, Mexico City, New York and Northern and Southern California.
Sam Francis was considered a revolutionary master of color, space, and light. His works call to various art movements - New York Abstract Expressionism, Impressionism, Art Informel, and color field painting. They are characterized by bright, vibrant splashes of color against a luminous white background. Francis took great interest in the creative process, but his understanding of the relationship between color and light set him apart from contemporaries such as Jackson Pollock and solidified him as a key player in contemporary art history.
Provenance: Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York, New York; Private Collection, Minnesota.
Literature: Experimental Printmaking, San Francisco with Garner Tullis, 1979.
Exhibited: Sam Francis: New Paperworks, Andre Emmerich Gallery, December 14, 1979 - January 5, 1980, and reproduced in color in the exhibition catalog.
Sight; height: 29 in x width: 24 in. Framed; height: 35 in x width: 28 1/2 in.
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