Born in 1923 in Northern California, Sam Francis is known for being the youngest of the first-generation Abstract Expressionists. He took up painting after departing the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1944 due to illness. After this, he dedicated his life to it, earning both an MA and BA from University of California.
What set him apart from his fellow American Abstract Expressionists? Despite the fact Clyfford Still and Jackson Pollock influenced him, he was also internationally influenced. He moved to Paris where he discovered color as well as grander dimensions. He had his first exhibition here in 1952.
In the 1970s, not only did he become a father but he also transitioned into a more rigid , rectangular, and color-prominent art style only to transition again once returned to California and influenced by new philosophies including mysticism and that of Carl Jung. This led to freer shapes within his artwork, a difference from his initial splatters and his more recent geometry.
Sam Francis was commissioned to paint multiple large-scale murals in Paris, as well as back in California and Seattle.
Retrospectives of Francis’s work have been held throughout the world including Kunsthalle Basel, Galerie Kornfeld und Klipstein in Bern, Museum of Modern Art in Japan, Konsthall in Malmo, LACMA, among many others.