Sam Francis, ‘Untitled (Spider)’, 1987, Opera Gallery

This work is registered in the Sam Francis Foundation archives under the reference No. SFP81-94

Signature: Signed and dated (on the reverse)

Stockholm, Heland Thordén Wetterling Galleries, Sam Francis, Nov. 1987

Sam Francis was born on June 25, 1923 in San Mateo, California. Though Francis’s distinctive manner of painting remained recognisable throughout his career, he continuously developed and transformed his artistic practice until his death in 1994, making him one of the most original and daring painters of the 20th century. His time in Paris in the 1950s exposed him to Tachism, Asian culture and Zen Buddhism, which greatly affected his artistic development. After returning to California in the 1960s and moving between the United States and Japan over the next period of his life, Francis’s work further evolved under the influence of Jungian analysis.
Untitled (Spider) is a vivid example of Francis’s artistic evolution in the 1980s, when the grid structure he had previously employed gradually disappeared from his work. The work refers to a period in the artist’s life when he founded the Lapis Printing Press, with the goal of producing unusual and timely texts in visually compelling formats.

Heland Thordén Wetterling Galleries, Stockholm
Private collection, Europe

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