The Circle of Sam Francis: Experimenting in California

Abstract Expressionist Sam Francis kept several studios and homes throughout California from the 1960s through the 1990s. When he arrived in Santa Monica, Francis was the most notable painter in the area, laser-focused on building a burgeoning art community. He surrounded himself with many studio assistants over the years who were young artists themselves, recent graduates, or from other workshops.

The artists who worked closely with him viewed their time in the studios as an opportunity for education and experimentation. It was a chance for assistants to nurture their own developing interests as well as supporting the artist, allowing for a mutual relationship of influence. Francis provided his own creative vision and talents, and an atmosphere in which to learn and grow. In turn, the assistants provided inspiration, creativity, and energy to enable Francis to fulfill his vision. The Circle of Sam Francis invites viewers into the rich collaborative studio life that Francis fostered during his time in California and how this period fed into the creative paths of the many young artists who assisted Francis.


Jerry Aistrup, Edith Baumann, Kurt Blum, Krauth Brand, Daniel Cytron, Susan Einstein, Sam Francis, Irving “Doc” Groupp, Dan Gualdoni, Shane Guffogg, John Haines, Lucius Hudson, Bryan Ida, Mitchell Johnson, Stefan Kirkeby, Keith Kirts, Gregory Mahoney, Judith Margolis, Nancy Mozur, Michael Murray, Meibao Nee, Ann Page, George Page, Jeff Perkins, Jaime Robles, Ed Ruscha, Jacob Samuels, Susan Titelman, Mark Whitney, Tiana Alexandria Williams, Keiko Yoshimura

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