LAMA's 20th Anniversary auction featured a Sam Francis painting from 1956 that realized $125,000.
About The Artist
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 US 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” (meaning “stain” or “splash”) painter, who preferred to accentuate brilliant color through painterly strokes. After a highly successful stint in Paris, and having been in exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (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 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’s work has been exhibited in multitudes of international galleries and museums, including the Tate Modern, London; the Museum of Modern Art, Japan; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and Moderna Museet, Stockholm.
“Sam Francis.” Hollis Taggart. Hollis Taggart Galleries, 2012. Web. 4 May 2012.