Sam Francis



Sam Francis (1923-1994) is one of the most distinctive and collected 20th-century abstract artists. 

After serving in the air force in WWII, Francis returned to his native California gradually immersing himself in art making. By the end of the 1940s, he was devoted to painting which led him to learn, exhibit and travel internationally.

In 1953, one of his canvases was included in the MoMA's seminal exhibition "Twelve Artists" which quickly led to his international reputation. 

While Francis is stylistically associated with the second generation of abstract expressionist painters (like Helen Frankenthaler) he spent most of the 1950s moving around and working/exhibiting in places including Paris, Mexico City, New York City, and Switzerland. As a result, he is somewhat independent of the collectives and "isms" that are normally used to describe post-war abstraction.

(Make no mistake Francis certainly forged important relationships in the art world. Take a look at this work by his friend Walasse Ting. The influence is very apparent). 

The one consistent element in Francis' biography is his inimitable style; a combination of splatter and vaguely biomorphic forms executed in saturated primary colors where a pure white background is revealed or remains exposed.

This dynamic lithograph is a paradigm of his optimistic gestural style. Francis' interest in color, light, and space manifests in the contrast between the stark white center and the vividly saturated splashes of primary color populating the edges of the work.

"Damp" is included in the collection at the MoMA (New York) and featured in a series of exhibitions including Palo Alto (1970), Los Angeles (1974), Paris (1975), Bonn (1977), Zurich (1977), and Boise (1979).

Questions about this piece? Contact us or call +1.416.704.1720 


USA, 1969


Signed and numbered by artist, bottom left

Labelled "BAT" outside of an edition of 20

26"H 37"W (work)

33"H 44"W (framed)

Very good condition.

Published by Tamarind Lithography

Literature: "The Prints of Sam Francis: A Catalogue Raisonné 1960-1990". Hudson Hills Press, 1992.

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