Sam Francis


Samuel Lewis Francis (1923-1994)  was an American painter and printmaker. He studied botany, medicine and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. 

The artist traveled widely during his career, and he was closely aligned with the Tachisme movement while living abroad in Paris during the 1950s. During the final three decades of his career, his style of large scale bright Abstract expressionism was also closely associated with Color field painting. 


He was a founding trustee of Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and his paintings can be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Kunstmuseum Basel, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, among others.


Related Works

  • For more wild abstract compositions that utilize drips and washes, check out Abstract Expressionist pioneer Helen Frankenthaler. She invented a painting technique that employed acrylic paints to create luminous veils of color. View her work.
  • Arturo Herrera and Sam Gilliam also conduct elaborate orchestras of form and color in their work, although neither share Francis's propensity for negative space.