Sam Francis captivates with his unique use of space and colour, merging Western art traditions with Asian influences to create dynamic, emotionally resonant works. If you’re looking for Sam Francis original prints and editions for sale or would like to sell, request a complimentary valuation and browse our network’s most in-demand works.
Sam Francis, born in 1923 in California, emerged as one of the leading figures of post-World War II American abstract expressionism. His journey into art was unconventional considering it began during his convalescence from a spinal injury sustained during his time in the military, where he first started painting. This transformative period ignited a passion for art that led him to study at the California School of Fine Arts and later at the University of Paris. Influenced by his experiences in the U.S. and France, Francis developed his own style characterised by an immersive use of colour and a sense of deep spatiality.
Francis's professional career soared in the 1950s and 1960s, marked by exhibitions and retrospectives across Europe, the United States, and Japan. His work evolved to incorporate brighter colours and an exploration of the dynamics of space, often juxtaposing saturation with vast areas of emptiness, a style that set him apart from his contemporaries. Francis was known for his large-scale, vibrant, and emotionally charged canvases that resonated with the intensity and freedom of abstract expressionism but also bore a unique signature of meditative qualities, influenced by his interest in Eastern philosophy.
After his time in Europe, Francis returned to California in the late 1950s, where he began to experiment with a brighter palette, incorporating influences from the California light and colour movement. This shift was evident in his Blue Balls series, which showcased his evolving approach to colour and space, involving large canvases dominated by bold splashes of blue.
Francis's journey was also marked by his ventures into printmaking, which began in the 1960s. His collaboration with print studios like Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles allowed him to explore the medium in depth, resulting in a body of work that further expanded his exploration of colour and form.
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