Sam Francis, ‘Untitled (SFP94-126)’, 1994, Bernard Jacobson Gallery

In the last eight years of his life Francis was surrounded by life and death. In 1986 his wife became pregnant with his fourth child and in 1988, two of Francis’ close friends died: his mentor and analyst, Dr. James Kirsch, the noted authority on Jung and Ed Janss, a long-time patron and collector of his art. In 1989 he learned that he had prostate cancer. According to William C. Agee the resulting works are of a physical and expressive magnitude like no others in the history of modern art, this expressive energy is seen in this piece. Francis uses darker colors here, and vibrant and rich blue seen in this piece demonstrate Francis’ enduring interest in the relationships of space, color and light.

Signature: Unsigned Inscribed (by studio assistant) on verso with completion date, Litho Shop identification number and directional arrow in black pen: 8/2/94 SFP94-126. Stamped on canvas verso with the the Sam Francis Estate logo and facismile signature stamps. (Reg. 12802)

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, 'Sam Francis: The Last Works,' 25 May - 17 September 1995; exh. brochure (colour illus.)
Galleri Faurschou, Copenhagen, at Art Basel 28, Basel, 'The Complete (152) Paintings from the Last Studio of Sam Francis', 11-18 June 1997; exh. brochure (colour illus.).
Galleri Faurschou, Copenhagen, 'Sam Francis: The Last Works', 18 March-5 June 1999; exh. cat., pp. 12-13 (b/w illus.).

Installation views of "The Last Works", in total or in part, appear in the following publications:
Agee, William C. Sam Francis: Paintings 1947-1990, Los Angeles, Museum of Contemporary Art, 1999; exh. cat., fig. 51, p. 57 (illus.).

Estate of the artist, California (1994)
Galleri Faurschou, Copenhagen (June 1996)
Kaare Berntsen, Oslo
Sotheby's, New York
Jonathan Novak Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

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

Exhibition Highlights

2017
London,
Art Basel 2017 - Private
2014
Munich,
Hans Hoffmann - Joan Mitchell - Sam Frances