Action painting

Sam Francis



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Sam Francis Painter

Sam Francis pittore

Samuel Lewis Francis, born in San Mateo, California, on June 25, 1923, stands out as one of the most influential American painters. Initially he dedicated himself to studying botany, medicine and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. His military career in the United States Air Force during the Second World War was interrupted due to an accident, which led him to rediscover his passion for art in Berkley, under the guidance of Clifford Still .
Francis' painting is distinguished by its freedom of structures with impressionistic traces. It then evolved in the context of abstract expressionism and American action painting, influenced by artists such as Mark Rothko, Arshile Gorky and above all Jackson Pollock . Despite these influences, Sam Francis never fits perfectly into any art school, forging a unique and global path.
In 1943, Sam Francis becomes an Air Force pilot. After a plane crash, he spends a long period in hospital, where he begins painting as a form of therapy. He then studied painting at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco, and in 1947 he created his first abstract painting. He earned a master's degree in literature in art history at the University of California, Berkeley.
In 1950, he moved to Paris, where he held his first solo exhibition at the Galerie du Dragon in 1952. The His style is influenced by informal art and abstract expressionism. In 1955, he exhibited in a museum for the first time, and in 1957 he made an influential trip to New York, Mexico and Japan, integrating Eastern artistic practices into his paintings. He participated in Documenta II and the Sao Paulo Biennial in 1959.
Sam Francis married five times, generating a strong family and artistic bond. He initially joins Vera Miller, then the Californian painter Muriel Goodwin, followed by the Japanese painter Teruko Yokoi, with whom he has a daughter, Kayo. He then marries Mako Idemitsu, with whom he has two children, Osamu and Shingo, and finally Margaret Smith, with whom he has a son, Augustus. In 1961, a serious illness forces him into a long period of hospitalization. In 1963, he created a new series of color lithographs. He is also known for sculpture and printmaking. He founded Lapis Press in 1984, specializing in visual arts and philosophy. His art evolves through various phases, from monochromatic abstractions to colorful murals and "open" paintings. The series “ Blue Balls ”, created between 1960 and 1963, reflects the physical and psychological pain he experienced. He returns to California in the 1960s and continues to paint, primarily in Los Angeles and Tokyo. Sam Francis battles prostate cancer in the final years of his life, but continues to paint energetically, using his left hand after a fall. He completed approximately 150 small paintings before his death on November 4, 1994 in Santa Monica, California. Sam Francis contributed significantly to the international recognition of postwar American painting. His works are exhibited in prestigious international museum collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Center Pompidou-Musee National d'Art Moderne in Paris. Sam Francis is remembered as a global pioneer, an artist who charted a unique trajectory in the artistic landscape of the 20th century.



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