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Sam Francis was an American artist known for his exuberantly colorful, large-scale abstract paintings.
His practice incorporated elements from Abstract Expressionism, Color Field painting, Impressionism and
Eastern philosophy to create a unique style of painterly abstraction.
Born in 1923 in California, Sam Francis received his BA and MA from UC Berkeley in botany and psychology
before beginning to pursue a career in art
In the 1950s he spent time and painted in Paris, the south of France, Tokyo, Mexico City, Bern and New York.
His artistic development was affected by his exposure to French Art Informel, Asian culture and Zen Buddhism.
Influenced by Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Clyfford Still, Francis is also associated to the work of Joan Mitchell Helen Frankenthaler, as he was more interested in the formal arrangement of the picture plane than the expressivity of the individual artist. “Painting is about the beauty of space and the power of containment,” Francis once reflected.
His paintings can be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Kunstmuseum Basel, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, among others.

Sam Francis: Text


Sam Francis, The Yellow and White Square.png



Watercolor on paper

11 by 10 in. (27.9 x 25.4 cm.)
Executed in 1959


Andre Emmerich Gallery, Inc., New York



Acrylic on paper
104.7 x 74.9 cm (41 1/4 x 29 1/2 in)
Executed in 1969


The Sam Francis Estate

Sam Francis: Our Artists
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