Sam Francis

(1923 - 1994)

LA Modern Featured Artist Sam Francis

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Native Californian painter and printmaker, Sam Francis is most noted for his use of dynamic forms saturated with intense color amidst spaces of white. He studied medicine and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, but joined the Air Force in 1943. Francis began painting during a prolonged hospitalization due to spinal tuberculosis. Upon his return to the United States, he pursued his art education at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco and again at U.C. Berkeley. Abstract Expressionism and French Impressionism influenced his early paintings, and most likely compelled him to move to Paris in 1950 where he remained for ten years. While there, he quickly exhibited his work in solo and group shows, earning him a reputation as a “tâchiste” painter (meaning “stain” or “splash”), a group of painters that preferred to accentuate brilliant color through painterly strokes. After a highly successful stint in Paris, including shows at the Museum of Modern Art (1956) and the 1959 Bienal de São Paolo, Francis again returned to California in 1961 where he lived for the remainder of his life. In addition to his contemporary Western influences, the interplay of negative space and bursts of color can be attributed to his study of Japanese calligraphy art during his frequent visits to his vacation home in Japan.

Francis’ works have been exhibited in multitudes of international galleries and museums, including the New Tate Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art, Japan, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

Literature:
“Sam Francis.” Hollistaggart.com. Hollis Taggart Galleries, 2012. Web. 4 May 2012.

  • Sam Francis  Untitled (SF65-076)
    • Lot 146
    • Sam Francis 
    • Untitled (SF65-076) 
    • 1965
    • Acrylic on paper
    • Artist’s label verso “SF 65-076″; signed, dated and titled in graphite verso
    • Sheet: 13″ x 22″; Frame: 16.5″ x 25.5″
    • December 16, 2012 Auction 
    • Estimate: $5,000 – 7,000
    • Realized: $9,375
  • Sam Francis  Untitled
    • Lot 249
    • Sam Francis 
    • Untitled 
    • 1988
    • Published by the artist, Santa Monica; printed by Roland McPherson at La Paloma, Tujunga
    • Color screenprint on PTI Waterleaf
    • #100 of 114
    • Signature in graphite lower right; edition lower left; retains Cedars-Sinai label verso
    • This print was commissioned by Crossroads School, Santa Monica.
    • Sheet: 30″ x 22″; Frame: 35″ x 26.75″
    • Provenance: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
    • Literature: Lembark, Connie W. The Prints of Sam Francis: A Catalogue Raisonné 1960-1990, Volume II. New York: Hudson Hills. 1992, #S19.
    • December 16, 2012 Auction 
    • Estimate: $2,000 – 3,000
    • Realized: $2,500
  • Sam Francis  Untitled
    • Lot 250
    • Sam Francis 
    • Untitled 
    • Print
    • Artist’s Proof VI
    • Signed in graphite lower right; edition lower left with blind stamp
    •  Sheet: 11″ x 7.5″; Frame: 23″ x 19.875″
    • December 16, 2012 Auction 
    • Estimate: $2,000 – 4,000
  • Sam Francis  Untitled (SF 039)
    • Lot 251
    • Sam Francis 
    • Untitled (SF 039) 
    • 1986
    • Sugarlift and spitbite aquatint Artist’s Proof IV; aside from the edition of 20
    • Signed in graphite lower right; edition lower left; retains Leslie Sacks Fine Art label verso
    • Impression: 6″ x 23.5″; Sheet: 17″ x 33″; Frame: 19.5″ x 36.5″
    • Literature: Lembark, Connie W. The Prints of Sam Francis: A Catalogue Raisonné 1960-1990, Volume II. New York: Hudson Hills, 1992. #1-73.
    • December 16, 2012 Auction 
    • Estimate: $2,000 – 4,000
    • Realized: $2,813
  • Sam Francis  Hurrah for the Red, White and Blue, Variant II
    • Lot 252
    • Sam Francis 
    • Hurrah for the Red, White and Blue, Variant II 
    • 1961
    • Published by Kornfeld and Klipstein, Bern Color lithograph on Rives BFK
    • #25 of 50
    • Signed in graphite lower right; edition lower left
    • Sheet: 19.75″ x 25.5″; Frame: 28.5″ x 34.875″
    • Literature: Lembark, Connie W. The Prints of Sam Francis: A Catalogue Raisonné 1960-1990, Volume II. New York: Hudson Hills, 1992. #L19.
    • December 16, 2012 Auction
    • Estimate: $2,000 – 4,000
    • Realized: $3,750
  • Sam Francis  Untitled (SF56-003)
    • Lot 228
    • Sam Francis 
    • Untitled (SF56-003) 
    • 1956
    • Egg tempera on paper
    • Signed upper middle verso in pencil “egg Tempera Sam Francis 1956″ and “56-003 and 80″ verso lower left
    • Sheet: 12.75″ x 14.5″; Frame: 21.125″ x 22″
    • Provenance: Private Collection, California (acquired from the artist June 1970)
    • October 7, 2012 Auction 
    • Estimate $100,000 – $150,000
    • Realized: $125,000
  • Sam Francis - Trietto II
    • Lot 382
    • Sam Francis
    • Trietto II
    • Published by 2RC Edizionis d’Arte, Rome; printed by Vigna Antoniniana Stamperia d’Arte, Rome
    • 1991
    • Aquatint
    • #17 of 66
    • Signed in pencil lower right; edition lower left; printer blindstamp lower left
    • Image: 26.875″ x 38.5″; Sheet: 38″ x 52.75″; Frame: 41″ x 56″
    • May 6, 2012 Auction
    • Estimate $2,500 – 3,500
    • Realized $7,812.50
  • Sam Francis - Toward Disappearance
    • Lot 383
    • Sam Francis
    • Toward Disappearance
    • Published by Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles
    • 1973
    • Silkscreen in colors on Arches 88
    • Artist’s proof IV, aside from the edition of 75
    • Signed in pencil with edition lower left; Gemini G.E.L. blindstamp lower right
    • Catalogue Raisonne, Gemini catalogue  #18.24
    • Sheet: 37.25″ x 31.25″; Frame: 43″ x 37.5″
    • Literature: Lembark, Connie W, The Prints of Sam Francis: A Catalogue Raisonné 1960-1990, 1st edition, New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1992.
    • May 6, 2012 Auction
    • Estimate $2,000 – 3,000
    • Realized $4,062.50
  • Sam Francis - Untitled (Sketch)
    • Lot 241
    • Sam Francis 
    • Untitled (Sketch) 
    • 1966
    • Acrylic on paper Signed and dated verso; artist label “SF66-048″
    • 13″ x 22″; Frame 16.5″ x 25.5″
    • December 11, 2011 Auction
    • Estimate $5,000 – 7,000
    • Realized $10,000
  • Sam Francis - The Pasadena Box
    • Lot 351
    • Sam Francis
    • “The Pasadena Box”
    • 1964
    • 11 works total, each signed
    • #62 of 100
    • Complete set comprised of 8 lithographs, scroll, three-panel screen, original acrylic painting on paper and box.
    • June 2008 Auction
    • Estimate $18,000 – 25,000
    • Realized $21,600
  • Sam Francis - Untitled (045)
    • Lot 22
    • Sam Francis
    • Untitled (045)
    • 1987
    • Unique mixed media with etching and aquatint with collage elements
    • Color trial proof
    • 57” h x 32.5”
    • October 2007 Auction
    • Estimate $8,000 – 10,000
    • Realized $14,400
  • Sam Francis - Untitled
    • Lot 283
    • Sam Francis
    • Untitled
    • Lithograph printed in colors
    • #50 of 65
    • Signed lower middle; numbered lower left
    • Sheet 24.75″ x 35.5″; Frame 28.75″ x 39.25″
    • June 26, 2011 Auction
    • Estimate $3,000 – 5,000
    • Realized: $2,375
  • Sam Francis - Untitled
    • Lot 205
    • Sam Francis
    • Untitled
    • Acrylic on paper
    • 1960
    • Signed and dated verso “Paris 1960 Sam Francis” and with pencil mark “L 44.67.31” and “#15-A”
    • Sheet 5.5” x 3.5”
    • March 6, 2011 Auction
    • Estimate $7,000 – 9,000
    • Realized $6,875
  • Sam Francis - Untitled (SFE-064)
    • Lot 199
    • Sam Francis
    • Untitled (SFE-064)
    • 1987
    • Etching with acquatint
    • Artist Proof
    • Signed lower right; inscribed “Bon a Tirer” and dated “3 Mai 1987”
    • Image 34.75” x 39”
    • May 2010 Auction
    • Estimate $7,000 – 9,000
    • Realized $9,187.50
  • Sam Francis - Untitled (#SF84-002)
    • Lot 181
    • Sam Francis
    • Untitled (#SF84-002)
    • 1984
    • Acrylic on prepared paper
    • Stamped verso in black ink, upper left corner “The Sam Francis Estate”
    • Sheet 37” x 72.25”
    • December 2009 Auction
    • Estimate $80,000 – 120,000
    • Realized $122,500