Profoundly influenced by Jackson Pollack, Mark Rothko, and Clyfford Still, Sam Francis (1923 – 1994) was one of the founders of the second generation of abstract expressionists which included Joan Mitchell, Morris Louis, and Helen Frankenthaler. He achieved the characteristic look of his abstract paintings with large gestural and brightly colored brushstrokes on a starkly white canvas.

Francis was born in California and received a BA and an MA in fine art from Berkeley. He moved to Paris in 1950 where he had his first solo show and throughout the fifties he was probably the best known American artist in Europe. His first New York show was at the Martha Jackson Gallery in 1956 and in the same year he was included in MoMA’s “Twelve Americans.”

The making of books has always been an important part of Francis’ œuvre. In 1964 he collaborated with Walasse Ting in the publication of the landmark 1¢ Life. After returning to California Francis bought a lithography shop and worked with master printer George Page to produce high quality editions of his own work. He also established the Lapis Press to make artists’ books combining art, poetry, philosophy, and psychology.

 

Books with Sam Francis available from Boreas Fine Art:

Ting, Walasse, edited by Sam Francis.  1¢  Life.  Bern: E.W. Kornfeld. 1964.  (Jim Dine, Robert Indiana, Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann and 23 others.)

 

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