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Lot 0004
Oil on canvas. American Abstract Expressionist School. Featuring abstract composition. Signed Sam Francis on the lower right corner. 48 x 52 cm (18.9 x 20.5 inches). PROVENANCE: Private collection (Central Europe)

Sam Francis (1923-1994) was an American artist known for his exuberantly colorful, large-scale abstract paintings. His practice incorporated elements from Abstract Expressionism, Color Field painting, Impressionism, and Eastern philosophy to create a unique style of painterly abstraction. Influenced by Jackson Pollock and Clyfford Still, he is more closely associated to the work of Helen Frankenthaler, as he was more interested in the formal arrangement of the picture plane than the expressivity of the individual artist. “Painting is about the beauty of space and the power of containment,” he once reflected. Born on June 25, 1923 in San Mateo, CA, he briefly served in the US Air Force during World War II but was injured during a test flight. Returning to California, he received his BA and MA from UC Berkeley in botany and psychology before beginning to pursue a career in art. The artist traveled widely during his career, and he was closely aligned with the Art Informel movement while living abroad in Paris during the 1950s. Francis died on November 4, 1994 in Santa Monica, CA at the age of 71. 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.


All lots that do not carry established documented provenance nor any past record of auction history record are described in the catalog as attributed .

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Signed [Artist Name] : In cases in which the signature is legible in the lot, this work is described as-is with no attributions given.

By [Artist Name] : The work is by the artist.

Attributed to [Artist Name] : The work may be ascribed to the artist on the basis of style, but there may be some question as to actual authorship.

In the manner of [Artist Name] : The work was executed by an unknown hand, but was designed deliberately to emulate the style of the artist.

After [Artist Name] : The work was executed by an unknown hand, but is a deliberate copy of a known work by the artist.

Circle of [Artist Name] : A work of the period of the artist showing his influence, closely associated with the artist but not necessarily his pupil.

Follower of [Artist Name]: A work by a pupil or a follower of the artist (not necessarily a pupil).

American, 19th century : This work was executed by an unknown hand, and can only be identified by origin (i.e., region, period).

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