Sam Francis


ca. 1958

Francis turned to art as a form of therapy when recovering from a spinal injury in hospital after a plane crash during his training in the U.S. Air Force. While embracing the animated and intuitive visual idiom of Abstract Expressionism, he achieved an expressive individuality by emphasizing the sensuous, even hedonistic, qualities of colors and their interplay with light and space. In 1957 he visited Japan for the first time: reductive Eastern aesthetics of asymmetrical shapes and blank space entranced him and led him to abstract compositions such as this. The saturated palette and ever-changing forms evoke a highly-charged emotive experience, perhaps alluding to the triumph of life over illness or death.

Artist Sam Francis
Date ca. 1958
Medium Watercolor on paper, mounted on canvas
Dimensions 76.2 x 56.5 cm
Credit line Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York, Hannelore B. and Rudolph B. Schulhof Collection, bequest of Hannelore B. Schulhof, 2012
Accession 2012.57
Collection Schulhof Collection
Type Work on paper

Copy caption

Other artworks