Sam Francis
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Sam Francis was born on June 25, 1923 in San Mateo, California. Francis briefly served in World War II until he was wounded. During his long hospital stay, Francis was exposed to art through visits from artist David Park. In 1945, he took up painting and began to study it at Berkeley following the war, among other subjects. Following his graduation, Francis traveled to Paris and other cities around the world to paint and develop his career. In 1953, Francis was among 12 artists picked for a group show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which helped Francis rise to fame overnight. Francis spent much of the 60s and 70s completing murals, public commissions, and high-profile series. In the 1980s, Francis began to focus on making prints, specializing in lithographs, etchings, and monotypes.

 

Initially, Francis was influenced by the Abstract Expressionists that dominated the art of New York. However, he tends to be more associated with the so-called second generation abstract expressionists such as Joan Mitchell and Helen Frankenthaler. In the 1970s, Francis’s works came to fall under the classification of “Fresh Air Pictures” denoting a new innovative technique and reassertion of interest in color. Many works from this period, and throughout other parts of his career, are noted for their vastness is scale. Francis worked right up until the end of his life and even produced a celebrated series of paintings in the year of his death. His works have been featured in several museum exhibitions across the world. His legacy is preserved through the Sam Francis Foundation.

 

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