SAM FRANCIS

BIO

Artworks available 

CV

sam-francis-art.jpg
 

Born in 1923 in San Mateo, USA. 

Died in 1994, Santa Monica, USA. 

 

One of the twentieth century’s most profound Abstract Expressionists, American artist Sam Francis is noted as one of the first post-World War II painters to develop an international reputation. Francis created thousands of paintings as well as works on paper, prints and monotypes, housed in major museum collections and institutions around the world. Regarded as one of the leading interpreters of color and light, his work holds references to New York abstract expressionism, color field painting, Chinese and Japanese art, French impressionism and his own Bay Area roots.

After graduating from Cal Berkeley in 1950 with a degree in art, Francis moved to Paris, where he would go on to be named by Time Magazine as, “the hottest American painter in Paris these days.” A transformative period of his career, Francis immersed himself in a study of Monet’s Water Lilies and was influenced by his close friendships with the Matisse family and artists Al Held, Joan Mitchell, and Jean-Paul Riopelle.

For the next four decades he traveled and studied extensively, maintaining studios in Bern, Paris, Tokyo, Mexico City, New York and Northern and Southern California. Through his travels he was exposed to many styles, techniques and cultural influences, which informed the development of his own dialogue and style of painting. Francis possessed a lyrical and gestural hand, enabling him to capture and record the brilliance, energy and intensity of color at different moments of time and periods of his life. His paintings embody his love of literature, music and science, while reflecting his deep range of emotions and personal turmoil.

Not only are Francis’s paintings valued historically for their aesthetic vision, but his inquisitive mind and spirit have solidified Francis’s legacy as a contemporary renaissance man. His interest in the creative process was expansive and synergistic – art, technology, psychology, science, medicine, and protecting the environment (before it became a movement).

 
 

EDUCATION

 

1949

BA, University of California, Berkeley, USA

SOLO SHOWS (SELECTION)

 

2013 - 2014

Sam Francis: Five Decades of Abstract Experssionism from California Collections, Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena, USA 

2012

Sam Francis: Works from the 1950s on paper and canvas, Gallery Delaive, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Sam Francis, Galerie Iris Wazzau, Davos, Switzerland

2011

Sam Francis. The exploration of color, Sotheby's (S2) New York, USA

Sam Francis, Guy Pieters Gallery, Paris, France

Sam Francis: Paintings from the Catalogue Raisonné, Gallery Delaive, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Sam Francis, Galerie Iris Wazzau, Davos, Switzerland

2009

Sam Francis - Malerei und Grafik, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Bielefeld, Germany

1999 - 2001

Sam Francis: Paintings 1947-1990, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, USA; travelled to Menil Collection, Houston, USA; Malmo Konsthall, Malmo, Sweden; the Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; Galleria Comunale d'Art Moderna e Contemporanea, Rome, Italy

1999

Retrospective: Sam Francis: Paintings 1947-1990, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, USA

1997

Sam Francis: The Archetypal Image, Frederick M. Weisman Museum of Art, Pepperdine University, Malibu, USA; travelled to The Fundación Caja de Madrid, Spain

1995

The Last Paintings of Sam Francis, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, USA

1993

Retrospective exhibition at Kunst und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn, Germany

1991

Retrospective at Galerie Kornfeld, Bern, Switzerland

1979

Retrospective of works on paper at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, USA – traveled to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Manila, Korea and Japan under the US International Communications Agency

1972

Sam Francis: Retrospective, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, USA – traveled to Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C

André Emmerich Gallery, New York, USA

Nicholas Wilder Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

1968

Centre National d'Art Contemporain, Paris, France

Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland

Minami Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

1967

Sam Francis: Retrospective, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA – traveled to University Art Museum, Berkeley, USA

1960 – 1961

Kunsthalle Bern, Bern, Switzerland

Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden

1959

Solo exhibition at Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena, USA – traveled to San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco, and Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, USA

 

GROUP SHOWS (SELECTION)

 

2013

Renard Collection, Fondation Beijeler, Basel, Switzerland

2012

Pasadena to Santa Barbara: A Selected History of Art in Southern California, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, USA

2009

Time & Place: Los Angeles, 1958-1968, Kunsthaus Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

2008

Choices, Galerie Willy Schoots, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Action Painting, Foundation Beyeler, Riehen, Switzerland

Time & Place: Los Angeles, 1958-1968, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden

2007

Grand Gestures: The Gordon F. Hampton Collection, University Art Museum, Long Beach, USA

Art Market Now, The Columns, Seoul, South Korea

2006

Afro & incotri e Confronti italia America, Gallerie d'Arte Moderna di Udine GAMUD, Udine, Italy

Zeitschnitt, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Bielefeld, Germany

2005

Intuitive Reflection, Art Forum Ute Barth, Zurich, Switzerland

Austrian Contemporary Art and Postwar Painting, Museo de Art Contemporaneo de Monrerrey MARCO, Monterrey, Mexico

2004

Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Bielefeld, Germany

Galerie Delaive, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Baukunst Galerie, Cologne, Germany

2003

Special Proofs: 1963-1989, Timothy Yarger Fine Art, Beverly Hills, USA

Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan

Iwaki City Art, Fukushima, Japan

Oita Art Museum, Oita, Japan

Galerie Iris Wazzau, Davos, Switzerland

2002

Galerie Andreas Baumgarti, Munich, Germany

Lovers Fine Arts, Gstaad, Switzerland

Museum of Modern Art, Toyama, Japan

Kawamura Memorial Museum, Chiba, Japan

Museum of Art, Eime, Japan

University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, USA

2000

Lawrence Rubin, Greenberg, Van Doren Fine Art, New York, USA

Galerie Delaive, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Richard Gray Gallery, New York and Chicago, USA

Idemitsu Museum of Arts, Tokyo and Osaka, Japan

1999

Leslie Sacks Fine Art, Los Angeles, USA

Robert Green Fine Arts, Mill Valley, USA

Gallery Faurschou, Copenhagen, Denmark

Ikon Ltd., Los Angeles, USA

Manny Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

Galerie Pascal Retelet, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France

Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris, France

Baukunst Galerie, Cologne, Germany

Pace Editions, New York, USA

Galerie Loeper, Hamburg, Germany

1998

Dorothy Blau Gallery, Bal Harbour, USA

Thomas Segal Gallery, Baltimore, USA

ACA Galerie, Munich, Germany

Gallery Guy Pieters, Knokke, Belguim

Bobbie Greenfield Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

Gallery Delaive, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Galleria d’Arte il Gabbiano, Rome, Italy

1997

André Emmerich Gallery, New York, USA

Manny Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

Museo d’Arte, Mendrisio, Switzerland

Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago, USA

Gallery Delaive, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Galerie Pascal Retelet, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France

1996

Smith-Andersen Gallery, Palo Alto, USA

Sogetsu Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan

Galerie Delaive, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Gagosian Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

Gallery Guy Pieters, Knokke, Belgium

Galerie Michael Haas, Berlin, Germany

Galerie Proarta, Zurich, Switzerland

1995

André Emmerich Gallery, New York, USA

Manny Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

Grunwald/UCLA/Armand Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA

Kunstverein Ludwigsburg, Ludwigsburg, Germany

Les Années Parisiennes 1950-1961 at the Galerie National du Jeu de Paume, Paris, France

1994

Long Fine Arts, New York, USA

Galerie Delaive, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Bobbie Greenfield Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris, France

Galerie Proarta, Zurich, Switzerland

Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York, USA

Nantenshi Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago, USA

1993

Galerie Pudelko, Bonn, Switzerland

Bobbie Greenfield Fine Art, Los Angeles, USA

Michele Cohen Gallery, New York, USA

Ochi Gallery, Ketchum, USA

Manny Silverman Gallery, Los Angels, USA

Galerie Iris Wazzau, Davos, Switzerland

1992

Galerie Daniel Papierski, Paris, France

Museum van der Togt, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Kukje Gallery, Seoul, South Korea

1991

Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris, France

James Corcoran Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

Angles Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

Associated American Artists, New York, USA

Gagosian Gallery, New York, USA

Centre Régional d’Art Contemporain Midi-Pyrénées, France

1990

Associated American Artists, New York, USA

GalleryDelaive, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Heland Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden

Ogawa Art Foundation, Tokyo, Japan

Ochi Gallery, Ketchum, USA

Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland

Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York, USA

Smith-Andersen Gallery, Palo Alto, USA

1989

André Emmerich Gallery, New York, USA

Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris, France

Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London, England

Sun Valley Center Gallery, Ketchum, USA

Linda Farris Gallery, Seattle, USA

Cantor/Lemberg Gallery, Birmingham, USA

Knoedler Gallery, London, England

1988

Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York, USA

Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris, France

Nantenshi Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Smith-Andersen Gallery, Palo Alto, USA

Greenberg Gallery, St. Louis, USA

Galerie Seoul, South Korea

Travelling exhibition throughout Japan organized by The Museum of Modern Art, Toyama and Nantenshi Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

1987

Knoedler Gallery, London, England

Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York, USA

Pamela Auchincloss Gallery, Santa Barbara, USA

Heland Thorden Wetterling Galleries, Stockholm, Sweden

G. Dalsheimer Gallery, Baltimore, USA

Galeria Eude, Barcelona, Spain

Manny Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

Galerie Pudelko, Bonn, Germany

Lever/Meyerson Galleries, New York, USA

1986

Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York, USA

Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris, France

Nantenshi Gallery, Toyko, Japan

Angles Gallery, Santa Monica, USA

La Mairie de Paris, Paris, France

1985

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Galerie Kornfeld, Bern, Switzerland

Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris, France

Nantenshi Gallery, Toyko, Japan

Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago, USA

Smith-Andersen Gallery, Palo Alto, USA

Hokin Gallery, West Palm Beach, USA

1984

André Emmerich Gallery, New York, USA

Pamela Auchincloss Gallery, Santa Barbara, USA

Brooke Alexander, Inc., New York, USA

Cantor/Lemberg Gallery, Birmingham, USA

Robert Elkon Gallery, New York, USA

Thomas Babeor Gallery, La Jolla, USA

Knoedler Gallery, London, England

Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles, USA

Steven Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco, USA

1983

Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York, USA

Galerie Kornfeld, Bern, Switzerland

Smith-Andersen Gallery, Palo Alto, USA

Foundation Maeght, Saint Paul de Vence, France

Studio Marconi, Milan, Italy

Colorado State University, Fort Collins, USA

Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris, France

Art Attack Gallery, Boise, USA

John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, USA

Nantenshi Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

1982

Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York, USA

Nantenshi Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago, USA

1981

Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York, USA

Ace Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

Ruth Schaffner Gallery, Santa Barbara, USA

Faith and Charity in Hope Gallery, Hope, USA

1980

Riko Mizuno Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

James Corcoran Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

Smith-Andersen Gallery, Palo Alto, USA

Abbaye de Senanque, Gordes, France

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, USA

1979

Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris, France

Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York, USA

Brooke Alexander, Inc., New York, USA

Art in Progress at Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel

Gallery of the Cultural Center of the Phillippines, Taipei, Taiwan

1978

Nicholas Wilder Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles, USA

Musee National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France

1977

Art in Progress at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark

Nicholas Wilder Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris, France

Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York, USA

Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago, USA

Galerie Kornfeld und Klipstein, Bern, Switzerland

Smith-Andersen Gallery, Palo Alto, USA

1974

Minami Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Idemitsu Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan

1972

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA

Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Dallas, USA

Oakland Museum of Art, Oakland, USA

Martha Jackson Gallery, New York, USA

Felix Landau Gallery, Los Angeles, USA

1967

San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco, USA

Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, USA

Snow painting performance in Naibara, Japan

1966

Sky painting performance over Tokyo Bay, Japan

1961 - 1964

Minami Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Galerie Kornfeld an Klipstein, Bern, Switzerland

Galerie Benador, Zurich, Switzerland

Documenta III, museum Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany

1960 - 1961

Esther Bear Gallery, Santa Barbara, USA

1957 - 1958

Hyakkaten Department Store, Tokyo, Japan

Kintetsu Department Store, Osaka, Japan

The Phillips Gallery, Washington, D.C.

1957

Gimpel Fils, London, UK

1956

Martha Jackson Gallery, New York, USA

Galerie Rive Droite, Paris, France

12 Americans, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

1955

Galerie Rive Droite, Paris, France

Tendances actuelles de l’Ecole de Paris III, Kunsthalle Bern, Bern, Switzerland

1952

Galerie du Dragon, Paris, France

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

 

Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA

Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, USA

Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, USA

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA

Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

National Gallery of Art, Washington, USA

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, USA

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, USA

Tate Gallery, London, UK

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA

Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel, Switzerland

 

 

PUBLICATIONS (SELECTION)

 

Yves Michaud, Sam Francis, Paris, Daniel Papierski, 1992

 

Sam Francis : Les années parisiennes 1950-1961, catalogue de l’exposition de la Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume (décembre 1995-février 1996), Paris, Édition du Jeu de Paume, 1995

 

Debra Burchett-Lere, Sam Francis – Catalogue Raisonne of canvas and panel paintings, 1946-1994, Berkeley, University of California Press, 2011

 

John Yau, Sam Francis, Londres, Éditions Bernard Jacobson Ltd, 2014

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