SAM FRANCIS (1923-1994)
Untitled SF63-039, 1963
acrylic on paper
40.5 x 27 inches | 102.9 x 68.6 cm
Signed verso, stamped by the estate
Sam Francis (1923-1994) was born in California and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1950 with a degree in art. Afterwards, Francis moved to Paris, and he continued to travel extensively over his lifetime, maintaining studios in many cities around the world, including New York, Tokyo, Paris, California, and Mexico City. During his travels, Francis was influenced by a range of international art movements, from French impressionism to Chinese and Japanese art to abstract expressionism. Francis’ paintings, works on paper, and prints are luminous and immersive abstractions in lush, transparent colors.
Francis is regarded as one of the 20th century’s leading interpreters of light and color. He was known for his artistic language influenced by intuition and abstract expressionism, as well as Asian and French impressionism. This 1963 'Edge' painting is an important and iconic example of the artist's expression related to his focus on negative space and edges of color. He studied Jungian psychology and when asked why his 1960's Edge paintings had an emptiness, he answered, "The space at the center of these paintings is reserved for you." The characterization of saturated splashes of color in red, cobalt blue, blacks and greens that populate the edge of his work with a center of austere white, emphasize the relationship of void, color and light.