Sam Francis, ‘Untitled (SFP94-14)’, 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 power is apparent in this particular work and the matrix structure he employed in the 70s reappears. This geometric structure, the beginnings of which became visible in the late 1960s, represented a new direction in the artist’s career.

Signature: Unsigned Inscribed (by the studio assistant) (verso) with completion date: 7/11/94. Stamped on the canvas with the Sam Francis Estate logo and facsimile signature stamps (verso).

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.).
Sam Francis: les années parisiennes 1950-1961. Paris, Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume, 1995; exh. cat., p. 39 (illus.).
Burrchett-Lere, Debra. ed. Sam Francis Catalogue Raisonne of Canvas an Panel Paintings, 1923-1994, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011; cat. no. 1701, DVD I (colour illus.).
Yau, John, Sam Francis, London, Bernard Jacobson Gallery, 2014. Illustrated in colour p. 59

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