30 Mar The Space of Effusion: Sam Francis in Japan by Richard Speer, 2020
The void that floats between forms—the absences between presences—is a key element of the much broader concept of ma. In Francis’s paintings and prints, as in traditional Japanese screens and scrolls, depictions of forms and emptiness interact in a charged spatial atmosphere, creating a kind of footpath for the eye, gently but confidently guiding viewers through the contours of a composition. Ma gives forms room to breathe and relate. Uncrowded, untethered, buoyant in vaporous realms unbeholden to gravity, free-floating shapes seem to inhale and exhale, cocooned within calmative, meditative vacuums into which viewers may project their thoughts and emotions, fears and hopes.
From the forthcoming publication by Richard Speer, The Space of Effusion: Sam Francis in Japan, 2020.