Sam Francis

Sam Francis was an American painter and printmaker that was born in California, 1923. Originally inspired by abstract expressionists Mark Rothko, Arshile Gorky, and Clyfford Still, Sam Francis became close with the second generation of abstract expressionists Joan Mitchell and Helen Frankenthaler. He spent the 1950s in Paris where he had his first solo exhibition at a gallery there and while there he had gained the attention of notable art critics Michel Tapié and Claude Duthuit. In the years between 1950-2958, Francis took many on many global destinations for his artistic development that include New York City, Paris, Tokyo, and Mexico City. After being exposed frequently to French modern painting and Buddhism, his artwork started to evolve into something of a higher esteem that began with monochromatic abstractions before shifting into large murals or open paintings. After painting murals globally, Francis returned to California in the 1960s and continued painting on large canvases with minimal color and bold lines. Francis became interested in printmaking in the 1980s and created numerous pieces and monotypes that were done in Santa Monica. Francis then founded the Lapis Press to produce “unusual and timely texts” and died in 1994.

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