Retrospective in blue
100 original works of the American artist Sam Francis exhibited in Slovakia in the Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum from June 19 until August 29, 2010.
This retrospective is the biggest Sam Francis exhibition in Europe since 1995, made possible by two European private collectors.
A full color exhibition catalogue will be available.
Sam Francis (1923-1994) was a citizen of the world who lived for art. American by birth, he spent a large part of his life in Paris, Tokyo and New York and had painting studios around the world until his death. Some of his paintings have been partly created in Paris, worked on in New York, and finally completed in Tokyo. With this cosmopolitan attitude to life Sam Francis evolved his unique own style.
The painting career of Francis embraces some fifty years of art history. Sam Francis was averse to all trends. He consciously and obstinately ignored these trends in order to follow his own personal path. Creativity and tireless dedication to his work resulted in a diverse expressive heritage of paintings, drawings, graphics and sculptures. His paintings ‘the Big Orange’ and ‘Round the World’ can be seen as true icons of our time. Martha Jackson, an art dealer in the 1950’s in New York, wrote in a letter to Sam Francis in 1954; ”And what do I think of you? Only that you are one of the great painters of our time.” Time magazine reviewed Sam Francis in 1956 as;“ the hottest American painter in Paris these days.” Francis was taken under the wings of New Yorker art dealer Martha Jackson in the year 1956. The support and devotion of Jackson towards the artistic career of Sam Francis resulted into the ‘Twelve Americans’ Exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in NY and later ‘The New American Painting’ where 17 artists, including Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, demonstrated the artistic freedom of expressive artists. This exhibition toured Europe in 1958. Francis was now seen as one of the new promising American artists. Francis lived in Paris for eight years from where he started his first trip around the world in 1957; a second tour du monde followed in 1959. Francis loved traveling. The first time he arrived in Japan he immediately felt at home, this feeling brought him back to Japan many times. The Japanese lifestyle and culture played a big role in his personal life and work. Francis spent the majority of his time in California. Francis said; “Los Angeles is the best for light in my work. New York light is hard. Paris light is beautiful cerulean gray. But Los Angeles light is clear and bright even in haze.”
This exhibition has been made possible by:
Collection Gerard Meulensteen, Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum, Bratislava, Slovakia.
Private collection Nico Delaive, Amsterdam.
Debra Burchett-Lere, Director of the Sam Francis Foundation, LA.