Light on Fire: The Art and Life of Sam Francis

Gabrielle Selz

The first in-depth biography of the artist.

Published by UC Press in October 2021

 

A revelatory and groundbreaking biography of Sam Francis, one of the 20th century’s most celebrated artists, and the American painter who brought the vocabulary of abstract expressionism to Paris. Drawing on exclusive interviews and private correspondence, Gabrielle Selz traces the extraordinary life of this complex and charismatic artist who first learned to paint as a former air-corps pilot encased for three years in a full-body cast.

LEGENDS

SEPTEMBER 21 – NOVEMBER 12, 2021

We are so excited Marlborough Gallery will present LEGENDS, an exhibition encompassing a group of four artists who played a crucial role in defining the Abstract Expressionist movement of the twentieth century. Presenting the work of Sam Francis, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Motherwell, and Beverly Pepper, Marlborough is revisiting a legacy which began over sixty years ago during the initial expansion of the gallery to New York.

LEGENDS

SEPTEMBER 21 – NOVEMBER 12, 2021

We are so excited Marlborough Gallery will present LEGENDS, an exhibition encompassing a group of four artists who played a crucial role in defining the Abstract Expressionist movement of the twentieth century. Presenting the work of Sam Francis, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Motherwell, and Beverly Pepper, Marlborough is revisiting a legacy which began over sixty years ago during the initial expansion of the gallery to New York.

The Space of Effusion: Sam Francis in Japan

Richard Speer
Edited and with a foreword by Debra Burchett-Lere

“Now that we are deprived of the pleasure of going to museums to experience art first-hand, I found myself enjoying the silky texture of the book cover and its equally silky at-touch pages inside. Going through the multiple reproductions and photos, gave me a sensation that I’m traveling along with Francis to Japan.” — Edward Goldman

SPACE OF EFFUSION Book Launch with LACMA

Watch the recorded conversation between Author Richard Speer, artist Shingo Francis, Director of the Sam Francis Foundation Debra Burchett-Lere, and LACMA curators Leslie Jones and Hollis Goodall. This program was the launch of The Space of Effusion: Sam Francis in Japan, a book that provides new research about California-born painter Sam Francis’s evolving relationship with East Asian aesthetics.

Director’s Letter

Hello from all of us at the Sam Francis Foundation! We send our best wishes and healthful and hopeful regards to our Sam Francis community during this unusual year as it has affected so many of us on a variety of levels. We are fortunate to continue working remotely (thanks to our subscribers and donors) focused on our legacy objectives, especially ongoing updates to the living Sam Francis: Catalogue Raisonné Project….

Director’s Letter

Hello from all of us at the Sam Francis Foundation! We send our best wishes and healthful and hopeful regards to our Sam Francis community during this unusual year as it has affected so many of us on a variety of levels. We are fortunate to continue working remotely (thanks to our subscribers and donors) focused on our legacy objectives, especially ongoing updates to the living Sam Francis: Catalogue Raisonné Project….

Walasse Ting in Amsterdam, 1987. Photo by Nico Delaive.

We are thrilled to announce our second installment of Archive Connection, a deeper look into the artist’s archives.

 

Archive Connection Essay No. 2 Walasse Ting
Sam Francis’s Loyal Friend
By John Seed

Students from Art Division, Los Angeles working in the print studio.

Community Engagement

The Sam Francis Foundation has a deepened commitment to amplifying and supporting programming dedicated to Black Lives Matter, art education, literacy, and environmental protection. We also support programming designed to answer the current need within the artistic community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Community Engagement

The Sam Francis Foundation has a deepened commitment to amplifying and supporting programming dedicated to Black Lives Matter, art education, literacy, and environmental protection. We also support programming designed to answer the current need within the artistic community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students from Art Division, Los Angeles working in the print studio.
Sam Francis, The Bound and the Unbound, 1984, five-panel, two-sided, folding screen, acrylic on gessoed hollow-core wooden panels, hinged together; overall 244 x 610 cm (96 1/8 x 240 5/16 in.), view after completion in the Broadway, Santa Monica studio. Undisclosed collection; formerly Idemitsu Museum of Arts, Tokyo.

Artwork Spotlight

In documenting the oeuvre of Francis we discover interesting stories regarding an artwork’s history, particularly as it leaves the studio and enters the collecting world. This new series of posts will highlight artworks and their histories with short commentary designed to further engage the public in an educational dialogue.

WORKS ON PAPER & CANVAS

Currently published to date 1945–1956

 

Welcome to the Sam Francis: Online Catalogue Raisonné Project, the compilation of unique works on paper and expanded version of canvas and panel paintings.  This installment documents all known unique works attributed to the artist from 1945 through 1956. Additional years will be added through 1994 on a regular basis.

 

This project is a subscription-based educational service.  There are two ways to subscribe:

 

BASIC (no cost)
EXPANDED (annual fee)

Sam Francis in Rue Tiphaine studio, Paris. Photo by Lennart Olson/Tio, Stockholm
Sam Francis in Rue Tiphaine studio, Paris. Photo by Lennart Olson/Tio, Stockholm

WORKS ON PAPER & CANVAS

Currently published to date 1945–1956

 

Welcome to the Sam Francis: Online Catalogue Raisonné Project, the compilation of unique works on paper and expanded version of canvas and panel paintings.  This installment documents all known unique works attributed to the artist from 1945 through 1956. Additional years will be added through 1994 on a regular basis.

 

This project is a subscription-based educational service.  There are two ways to subscribe:

 

BASIC (no cost)
EXPANDED (annual fee)

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