Light on Fire: The Art and Life of Sam Francis

Light on Fire: The Art and Life of Sam Francis

Light on Fire: The Art and Life of Sam Francis

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. While still a young man, Francis saw his color-saturated paintings fetch the highest prices of any living artist. His restless desire resulted in five marriages and homes on three continents. His entrepreneurial spirit led to founding a museum, a publishing company, a reforestation program and several non-profits. With settings from World War II San Francisco to post-war Paris, New York, Tokyo and Los Angeles, Selz writes an intimate portrait of a man who sought to resolve in art the contradictions he couldn’t resolve in life.

October 19
Emblem Hotel | San Francisco
Litquake Book Launch, Gabrielle Selz in conversation with Patricia Albers

October 24
Jonathan Novak Contemporary Art | Los Angeles

October 28
Marlborough Gallery | New York

Gabrielle Selz is the award-winning author of Unstill Life: A Daughter’s Memoir of Art and Love in the Age of Abstraction (2014) and Light on Fire: The Art and Live of Sam Francis(2021). Her essays and art reviews have appeared in The New Yorker The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Hyperallgic, The Rumpusand The Huffington Post among others. She makes her home in Oakland, CA. 
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