Sam Francis, ‘Air’, 1969, ACE Gallery

Signature: Unsigned and undated. Inscribed (by studio assistant) on verso: top. Also inscribed (by studio assistant) on verso with an encircled notation: T2. Stamped on canvas verso with the Sam Francis Estate logo and facsimile signature stamps.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles. “Sam Francis: Recent Paintings,” 10 February–22 March 1970; exh. brochure, cat. no. 5 (no illus.).
Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn. “Sam Francis,” 12 February–18 April 1993; exh. cat., pp. 190–91 (color illus.).
Ace Gallery, Institute of Contemporary Art, Beverly Hills. “Sam Francis: Edge Paintings,” 1 March–28 July 2003 (see images).

SFF.514
FRANCIS ARCHIVE NUMBER SFP69-7
ALTERNATE TITLE Open Top-Three Edges

About Sam Francis

The painterly abstraction of Sam Francis is most often associated with the American Abstract Expressionist movement, but Francis also spent a great deal of time in Paris and became linked with the parallel movement of Art Informel in Europe. Francis’ most iconic works are characterized by saturated splashes of color that populate the edges of the canvas in order to emphasize the luminous white void in the center. This contrast between the vibrancy of Francis’ color palette and the austere white picture plane demonstrate the artist’s concern with relationships of space, color, and light, as opposed to the psychologically expressive tendencies of contemporaries such as Jackson Pollock.

American, 1923-1994, San Mateo, California, based in Paris and Santa Monica, California