Sam Francis

Sam

Francis

(1923 - 1994)

(1923 - 1994)

Works

About Sam Francis

Sam Francis (1923 – 1994) occupies a prominent position in post-war American painting. Although associated with the Abstract Expressionist movement and Clement Greenberg’s Post-Painterly Abstraction, unlike many American painters of he time he had direct and prolonged exposure to French painting and to Japanese art which had an individual impact on his work.

On leaving the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1944 owing to illness Francis took up painting as a hobby. He decided to make this a serious undertaking studying under David Park in 1947 and completed his BA and MA at the University of California. He was greatly influenced by Abstract Expressionism particularly the works of Clyfford Still and Jackson Pollock. In his use of space on the canvas to allow free circulation of strong colour and the sensitivity to light Francis developed his own style by the time his studies had ended.

Francis moved to Paris in 1950 where he met Jean-Paul Riopelle who was to remain an important influence, and study of Monet’s Waterlilies had a profound impact on his work. From a very muted palette of greys and whites he returned to the qualities of light and colour producing such works as Big Red 1953. He continues to develop the use of white space and increased the dimensions of his paintings for greater emphasis. During his period in Europe he executed a number of monumental mural paintings.

Francis returned to California in 1962 and was then influenced by the West Coast School’s preoccupation with mysticism and Eastern philosophy. Blue had become a more dominant feature of his work since 1959 inspired by personal suffering and the great joy of becoming a father for the first time in 1961. This led to combinations of hard colour and more disciplined structures with centrally placed rectangles during the 1970s. Eventually these more rigid structures gave way to looser configurations sometimes of snake-like forms with web-like patterns. Blue, sometimes brilliant, remained an important part of many later works.

Pictures

Video

Catalogue raisonné

This long-awaited and innovative catalogue raisonné brings together, for the first time, all the known paintings on canvas and panel of California-born abstract expressionist Sam Francis (1923–1994) and offers a comprehensive chronicle of his artistic journey. One of the twentieth century’s leading interpreters of light and color, Francis maintained studios not only in New York and Los Angeles, but also in Paris, Bern, and Tokyo, making him the first post–World War II American painter whose reach was truly international. Throughout a long and prolific career, Francis created thousands of paintings as well as works on paper, prints, and monotypes. His work embraces New York abstract expressionism, color field painting, Chinese and Japanese art, French impressionism, and his own Bay Area roots.

Sam Francis: Catalogue Raisonné of Canvas and Panel Paintings is a groundbreaking publication that will never go out of date. It consists of an amply illustrated book and two spectacular DVDs, which provide images and documentation for more than 1,850 canvas and panel paintings, hundreds of which are reproduced for the first time. The DVDs also include a rare film of the artist at work, an extensive bibliography, exhibition histories, and selected writings by Francis and others. The book features a masterful essay by William C. Agee and a biographical timeline compiled by Debra Burchett-Lere. Purchasers will have access to electronic updates on the Foundation’s website as they become available, making Sam Francis the premier catalogue raisonné for twenty-first-century readers.

The official presentation of the catalogue will take place on 0ctober 4, 2011 at Sotheby’s, New York. From september 26 till october 10, 2011 they exhibit a selection of original works by Sam Francis.

Order latest catalogues

Order our latest catalogues:

Remembering Sam Francis 2004

The unknown works from the 90’s 2005

 


 

For any questions regarding catalogue raisonne submission or painting research please contact:

Sam Francis Foundation samfrancisfoundation@me.com

Also visit: www.samfrancisfoundation.org

Condensed exhibition history of Sam Francis

compiled by Debra Burchett-Lere

1923
• Born June 25, San Mateo, California.

1949
• B.A., University of California at Berkeley.

1950
• M.A. University of California at Berkeley.

1946-50
• Began painting in San Francisco, California.

1950-58
• Lived and worked in Paris, France with travels to Mexico, Japan, and Europe.

1952
• Galerie Nina Dausset, Paris
• Galerie du Dragon, Paris

1955
• Galerie Rive Droite, Paris

1956
• “12 Americans” group show at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City.
• Galerie Rive Droite, Paris
• Martha Jackson Gallery, New York City

1957
• Completed mural for the Sogetsu School of the sculptor and flower arranger, Sofu Teshigahara, in Tokyo, Japan.
• Gimpel Fils, Ltd, London, England

1952-58
• Gimpel Fils Ltd., London
• Kornfeld and Klipstein, Bern, Switzerland
• Martha Jackson Gallery, New York City

1959
• Lived in New York City; worked on the Chase Manhattan Bank mural.
• Solo museum show at Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena, California that traveled to San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco ; Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington.

1959-61
• Lived in Bern. Solo museum show at Kunsthalle, Bern that traveled to Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden.

1961
• Moved to Santa Monica, California, which became permanent home base.
• Esther Bear Gallery, Santa Barbara, California

1961-64
• Minami Gallery, Tokyo
• Kornfeld and Klipstein, Bern
• Galerie Benador, Zurich, Switzerland
• Major exhibition at Documenta III, Kassel, Germany.

1966
• Sky painting performance in Japan over Tokyo Bay.

1967
• Snow painting performance in Naibara, Japan.
• Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York City
• Retrospective museum show at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas that traveled to University Art Museum, Berkeley; San Francisco Museum of Art

1968
• Receives Honorary Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.
• Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Paris
• Kunsthalle, Basel.
• Minami Gallery, Tokyo.

1969-71
• Painted and installed commissioned mural for the National Gallery of Art, West Berlin, Germany.
• Solo museum show at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California
• Martha Jackson Gallery, New York City
• Felix Landau Gallery, Los Angeles.

1970
• Established the Litho Shop in Santa Monica to print and publish his own lithographs.

1969-72
• André Emmerich Gallery, New York City
• Nicholas Wilder Gallery, Los Angeles

1972
• Retrospective solo museum show at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, that traveled to Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City; Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Texas; Oakland Museum of Art, Oakland, California.
• Stanford University Museum of Art, Palo Alto, California.

1973-74
• Lived and painted primarily in Tokyo.

1974
• Idemitsu Art Museum, Tokyo.
• Minami Gallery, Tokyo
• Incorporated the Litho Shop

1975-77
• Nicholas Wilder Gallery, Los Angeles
• Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris
• André Emmerich Gallery, New York
• Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago
• Kornfeld and Klipstein, Bern
• Smith-Andersen Gallery, Palo Alto
• Began collaboration with Garner Tullis on monotypes.
• Paintings in group exhibition “Art in Progress” at the Louisiana Museum of Art at Humlebaek, Denmark that traveled to Centre Pompidou, Paris; Liljevalchs Konsthall, Stockholm.

1978
• Nicholas Wilder Gallery, Los Angeles
• Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles

1979
• Retrospective exhibition of works on paper at Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Massachusetts, that traveled to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Manila, Korea, and Japan under the U.S. International communication Agency.
• Included in “Art in Progress” exhibition at Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel.
• Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris
• André Emmerich Gallery, New York
• Brooke Alexander, Inc., New York

1980
• Abbaye de Senanque, Gordes, France
• Los Angeles County Museum of Art
• Riko Mizuno Gallery, Los Angeles
• James Corcoran Gallery, Los Angeles
• Smith-Andersen Gallery, Palo Alto
• Mural commissions at Weinstocks Department Store, Sacramento, and General Services Administration building in Anchorage, Alaska.
• Becomes part of the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

1981
• André Emmerich Gallery, New York
• Ace Gallery, Los Angeles
• Ruth Schaffner Gallery, Santa Barbara
• Faith and Charity in Hope Gallery, Idaho
• Established temporary painting studio in San Leandro, California to complete the San Francisco Museum of Art Mural commission.

1982
• André Emmerich Gallery, New York
• Nantenshi Gallery, Tokyo
• Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago

1983
• Completed the San Francisco Airport Mural.
• André Emmerich Gallery, New York
• Galerie Kornfeld, Bern
• Smith-Andersen Gallery, Palo Alto
• Fondation Maeght, St.Paul, France
• Studio Marconi, Milan, Italy
• Colorado State University, Colorado
• Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris
• Art Attack Gallery, Idaho
• John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco
• Nantenshi Gallery, Tokyo
• Travelling survey of works on paper through the Art Museum Association of America.

1984
• Established Lapis Press to publish artists’ books.
• André Emmerich Gallery, New York
• Pamela Auchincloss Gallery, Santa Barbara
• Brooke Alexander, Inc., New York
• Cantor/Lemberg Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan
• Robert Elkon Gallery, New York
• Thomas Babeor Gallery, La Jolla, California
• Knoedler Gallery, London
• Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles
• Steven Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco

1985
• Galerie Kornfeld, Bern
• Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris
• Nantenshi Gallery, Tokyo
• Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago
• Smith-Andersen Gallery, Palo Alto
• Hokin Gallery, Bay Harbor Isle, Florida
• Completed mural for the San Francisco Museum of Art.

1986
• André Emmerich Gallery, New York
• Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris
• Nantenshi Gallery, Tokyo
• Angles Gallery, Santa Monica
• Le Maire de Paris, France
• Received commission to paint mural for ceiling of the Opera National, Theatre Royal de la Monnaie, Brussels.

1987
• Solo exhibitions at Knoedler Gallery, London
• André Emmerich Gallery, New York
• Pamela Auchincloss Gallery, Santa Barbara
• Heland Thorden Wetterling Galleries, Stockholm
• G.Dalsheimer Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland
• Galeria Eude, Barcelona Spain
• Manny Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles
• Galerie Pudelko, Bonn, Germany
• Lever/Meyerson Galleries, New York

1988
• André Emmerich Gallery, New York
• Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris
• Nantenshi Gallery, Tokyo
• Smith Andersen Gallery, Palo Alto
• Greenberg Gallery, St. Louis, Missouri
• Galerie Seoul, Korea.
• Sam Francis Exhibition traveled throughout Japan, April 1988-March 1989 to: Toyama Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, Seibu Takanawa, Karuizawa, the Museum of Modern Art, Shiga, Ohara Museum of Art, Murashiki, Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo.

1989
• André Emmerich Gallery, New York
• Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris
• Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London
• Sun Valley Center Gallery, Ketchum, Idaho
• Linda Farris Gallery, Seattle
• Cantor/Lemberg Gallery, Birmingham
• Knoedler Gallery, London

1990
• Associated American Artists, New York (prints)
• Gallery Delaive, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
• Heland Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm
• Ogawa Art Foundation, Tokyo (monotypes)
• Ochi Gallery, Ketchum, Idaho
• Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland
• Andre’ Emmerich Gallery, New York
• Smith Andersen Gallery, Palo Alto (prints)

1991
• Forty year retrospective at Galerie Kornfeld, Bern
• Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris
• James Corcoran Gallery, Los Angeles
• Angles Gallery, Los Angeles
• Associated American Artists, New York (prints)
• Gagosian Gallery, New York
• Centre Regional d’Art Contemporain Midi-Pyrenees, Toulouse-Labege, France.

1992
• Galerie Daniel Papierski, Paris
• Museum van der Togt, Amstelveen, the Netherlands
• Kukje Gallery, Seoul

1993
• Retrospective museum exhibition at the Kunst und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutchland, Bonn, Germany, curated by Pontus Hulten.
• Galerie Pudelko, Bonn
• Bobbie Greenfield Fine Art, Venice, California
• Michele Cohen Gallery, New York
• Ochi Gallery, Ketchum
• Manny Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles
• Galerie Iris Wazzau, Davos, Switzerland.
• Commission for new German Parliament Building, Bonn.
• Major donation of ten paintings to The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles.

1994
• Long Fine Art, New York
• Galerie Delaive, Amsterdam
• Bobbie Greenfield Gallery, Venice
• Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris, France
• Galerie Proarta, Zurich
• Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York
• Nantenshi Gallery, Tokyo
• Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago
• University Art Museum, University of California, Berkeley honored Francis with Distinguished Alumnus Award and announced Scholarship Award in Francis’ name.
• Daco Verlag Günter Bläse, Stuttgart, Germany published major monograph on monotypes.
• November 4, 1994, Sam Francis passed away in Santa Monica.

1995
• “The Last Paintings of Sam Francis,” 152 small paintings (painted June through August 1994, at his Santa Monica house studio) exhibited at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
• André Emmerich Gallery, New York
• Manny Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles
• Grunwald/UCLA/Armand Hammer Museum, Los Angeles
• Kunstverein Ludwigsberg, Germany.
• “Les annees Parisiennes – 1950-1961,” at the Jeu de Paume, Paris reunited the three Basel Mural panels.

1996
• Smith Andersen Gallery, Palo Alto
• Sogetsu Art Museum, Tokyo
• Gallery Delaive, Amsterdam
• Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, California
• Gallery Guy Pieters, Knokke, Belgium
• Galerie Michael Haas, Berlin
• Galerie Proarta, Zurich

1997
• “Sam Francis: The Archetypal Image,” opened at the Frederick M. Weisman Museum of Art, Pepperdine University, Malibu, California and traveled to The Fundacion Caja de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.
• André Emmerich Gallery, New York
• Manny Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles
• Musee d’Arte, Mendrisio, Switzerland
• Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago
• Gallery Delaive, Amsterdam
• Galerie Retelet, St. Paul de Vence, France

1998
• Dorothy Blau Gallery, Bay Harbor Island
• Thomas Segal Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland
• ACA Gallery, Münich, Germany
• Gallery Guy Pieters, Knokke, Belgium
• Bobbie Greenfield Gallery, Santa Monica
• Gallery Delaive, Amsterdam
• Galleria d’Arte il Gabbiano, Rome, Italy.

1999
• Leslie Sacks Fine Art, Los Angeles (prints)
• Robert Green Fine Arts, Mill Valley, California
• Galleri Faurschou, Copenhagen, Denmark
• Ikon, Ltd., Los Angeles
• Manny Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles
• Galerie Pascal Retelet, Saint Paul de Vence, France
• Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris
• Baukunst Galerie, Cologne
• Pace Editions, New York (prints)
• Galerie Loeper, Hamburg, Germany

1999-2001
• Major retrospective exhibit “Sam Francis: Paintings 1947-1990,” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles curated by William C. Agee. Traveled through 2001 to: the Menil Collection, Houston, Texas; Konsthall Malmö, Malmö, Sweden; the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; Galleria Communale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Rome, Italy.

2000
• Galleri GKM Siwert Bergström, Malmö
• Bruk Kahan Gallery, Boca Raton, Florida
• Richard Gray Gallery, New York and Chicago
• Rayuela Galeria De Arte, Madrid; Ikon Ltd., Santa Monica
• Gallery Delaive, Amsterdam
• Lawrence Rubin Greenberg Van Doren Fine Art, New York
• Galleria il Gabbiano, Rome
• Springfield Art Museum, Springfield, Missouri
• Idemitsu Museum of Arts, Osaka and Tokyo.

2001
• Sam Francis Estate offices/gallery/print studio move to new location at 5440 McConnell Ave., Los Angeles.
• Meyerovich Gallery, San Francisco
• Baukunst Galerie, Cologne, Germany
• Galerie Guy Pieters, Saint-Paul, France
• Alan Cristea Gallery, London
• Galerie Proarta, Zurich
• Brian Gross Gallery, San Francisco
• Lawing Gallery, Houston
• Gallery Delaive, Amsterdam

2002
• Galerie Andreas Baumgartl, München, Germany
• Galerieof Fine Arts Ltd., Gstaad, Switzerland.

2002-2003
• Idemitsu Museum, Tokyo organizes major Sam Francis exhibition from their collection that travels to six museums in Japan through 2003 (The Museum of Modern Art, Toyama; Kawamura Memorial Museum, Chiba; The Museum of Art, Ehime; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Iwaki City Art Museum, Fukushima; Oita Art Museum, Oita.

2003
• Solo show at Galerie Iris Wazzau, Davos, Switzerland.
• Ace Gallery, Beverly Hills, California
• Artemis Greenberg Van Doren Gallery, New York.
• Galerie Guy Pieters, Saint Paul de Vence (France).
• Robert Sandelson Gallery, London, UK
• Broadbent Gallery, London, UK

2003-2004
• Solo show Prototypes at Gallery Delaive, Amsterdam, Netherlands

2004
• Baukunst Galerie, Cologne, Germany
• Galleri GKM Siwert Bergström, Malmö, Sweden
• Galerie Thomas, München , Germany
• Alanda Arte Contemporanea, Carrara, Italy
• Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Bielefeld, Germany
• Galerie Proarta, Zurich, Switzerland
• Venice Design Art Gallery, Venice, Italy
• Martin Lawrence Galleries, San Francisco, California, USA
• Gallery Artzone-Kaguraoka, Kyoto
• Museum Jan van der Togt, Amstelveen, Netherlands
• Gallery Delaive, Amsterdam, Netherlands

2005
• Gallery Wild, Frankfurt, Germany
• Robert Sandelson Gallery, London, UK
• Leslie Sacks Fine Art, Los Angeles, California, USA
• Kaare Berntsen, Oslo, Norway.
• Movimento Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Italy.
• Gallery Delaive, Amsterdam, Netherlands
• Rosenbaum Contemporary, Boca Raton
• Ohara Museum of Art, Kurashiki
• American Contemporary Art Gallery, Munich

2006
• Kunstmuseum, Bern, Switzerland.
• Galerie Flintholm, Verster Skerninge, Denmark.
• Robert Green Gallery, Mill Valley, California.
• Galerie Lovers of Fine Art, Gstaad
• Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris
• Galerie Kornfeld und Cie., Bern
• Leslie Sacks Fine Art, Los Angeles

2007
• Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris.
• LC Galerie, Paris.

2008
• Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, Los Angeles.
• Galerie Proarta, Zurich.
• Galleria San Carlo, Milan.
• Galleria Repetto, Acqui-Termi.

2009
• College of the Canyons Art Gallery, Santa Clarita, California.
• American Contemporary Art Gallery, Munich.
• Smith Andersen North, San Rafael, California.
• Leslie Sacks Fine Art, Los Angeles.
• Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Bielefeld, Germany.
• L&M Arts, New York.
• Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London.
• Gallery Delaive, Amsterdam.
• Guy Pieters Gallery, Knokke, Belgium.

2010
• Galerie Proarta, Zurich.
• Helly Nahmad Gallery, New York.
• Danubiana Art Museum, Bratislava, Slovak Republic.
• Coskun Fine Art, London.
• Galerie Koch, Hannover, Germany.

2011
• Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris.
• Gallery Delaive, Amsterdam.
• Galerie Thomas Modern, Munich.
• Page Gallery, Seoul.
• Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York.
• Nantenchi Gallery, Tokijo
• Galerie Kornfeld, Bern
• Robert Green Fine Arts, Mill Valley
• Gallery Artzone-Kaguraoka, Kyoto
• Elins Eagles-Smith Gallery, San Francisco
• Galerie Son, Berlin
• Galerie Thomas Modern, Munich

2012
• PST, Berlin.
• Martin Lawrence Galleries, New York.
• Museum of Art, Santa Barbara.
• Iris Wazzau, Davos.
• Gallery Delaive, Amsterdam.
• Agnellini Arte Moderna, Brescia.
• Galleri MDA, Helsingborg.

2013
• Fondation Beijeler, Basel.
• Pasadena Museum of California Art- PMCA, Pasadena
• Malingue, Paris
• Galleria d’Arte Maggiore, Bologna

2014
• S2 Gallery, Sotheby�s, New York
• Jonathan Novak Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
• Galerie Iris Wazzau, Davos, Switzerland
• Leslie Sacks Fine Art, Los Angeles
• Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento
• Pasadena Museum of Art
• Museum Jan van der Togt, Amstelveen, Netherlands
• Guy Pieters Gallery, Knokke, Belgium
• Greenfield Sacks Gallery, Santa Monica
• Robert Green Fine Arts, Mill Valley
• Galerie Fleury, Paris

2015
• Galerie Diane Pollignac, Paris
• Tokyo Station Gallery, Toyama
• Van de Wege Fine Art, New York
• Centre Pompidou, Paris
• Bernard Jacobson Gallery – New York
• Bernard Jacobson Gallery – London
• Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Charlotte
• Galerie Koch, Hannover, Germany

2016
• Galerie Iris Wazzau, Davos, Switzerland
• Ma Galerie, Paris
• Gallery Delaive, Art New York
• Norton Simon Museum, Passadena
• Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Charlotte, North Carolina
• Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee
• Amon Carter Museum of Western Art, Fort Worth, Texas
• Bernard Jacobsen Gallery, London
• Manny Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles
• Galerie Koch, Hannover, Germany
• Samuel Vanhoegaerden Gallery, Knokke, Belgium
• The University of British Columbia, Vancouver

2017
• Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London
• Opera Gallery, Zurich
• Museum Jan van der Togt, Amstelveen, Netherlands
• Galeria Proarta, Zurich
• L A Louver Gallery, Venice

2018
• Gallery Delaive, Amsterdam
• Seizon Museum of modern art, Nagano, Japan
• Centre Pompidou, Metz, France

2019
• Jonathan Novak Contemporary Art, New York
• Heather James Fine Art, Palm Desert

Sam Francis Biography compiled by Debra Burchett-Lere (Assistance and prior research by Nancy Mozur and Beth Silverman)
Sam Francis biography, copyright by the Samuel L. Francis Art Museum, Inc.
(AKA Samuel L. Francis Foundation or Sam Francis Foundation, CA) 2005

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