Sam Francis



Watercolour on paper
Support: 629 x 486 mm
Purchased 1957

Display caption

Sam Francis was born in San Mateo, California and studied at the California School of Fine Arts. In 1947 the Abstract Expressionist painters Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still visited the school and their influence on the development of Francis's work is apparent. In the early 1950s he lived in Paris, and subsequently travelled widely. He was therefore not directly connected with the New York-based artists who spearheaded Abstract Expressionism. Even so, he exhibited with those artists and gained international recognition. This work was painted after a visit to Japan. Its characteristic use of colours floating in space fuses painterly gesture with Francis's interest in the notion of the void, derived from Oriental thought.

Gallery label, August 2004

Catalogue entry

Sam Francis born 1923 [- 1994]

T00148 Painting 1957

Not inscribed
Watercolour on paper, 24 3/4 x 19 1/8 (63 x 48.5)
Purchased from the artist through Gimpel Fils (Knapping Fund) 1957
Exh: Sam Francis, Gimpel Fils, London, May-June 1957 (29)
Repr: Mervyn Levy, Painting for All (London 1958), facing p.177

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.225, reproduced p.225