1923–1994, USA

Name Sam, Samuel Lewis FRANCIS
Birth 1923, USA
Died 1994, USA

Sam Francis (1923-1994) was born in San Mateo in California. He studied at the University of California and began painting in 1946, while recovering from spinal tuberculosis. From 1950 to 1958 he lived in Paris, and then spent time in New York, painting the Chase Manhattan mural. In 1961 he developed tuberculosis of the kidneys in Tokyo, recovered in Bern and then based himself in California.

During his career he travelled extensively throughout Europe and Japan, always returning to his native California. He exhibited widely throughout the world, in New York with Martha Jackson, the Pierre Matisse and latterly with Andre Emmerich. In London he exhibited with Gimpel Fils and then with Bernard Jacobson Gallery.

He died on the 4th November 1994. His work is to be found in major museums and collections throughout the world. He is widely regarded as one of the most important representatives of Abstract Expressionism

Sometimes considered a second-generation Abstract Expressionist, Francis\' work of the 1950\'s and 1960\'s was abstract, luminous and painterly rather than gestural. Influenced by the works of Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still, Francis\' \"signature\" paintings of the early 1950\'s are overlays of serial but asymmetrical biomorphic forms saturated with color.

In the mid-1950\'s, Francis began to paint fields of various sized clusters of cell-like shapes usually in blue, yellow, and red on a white ground.

By the late 1950\'s Francis concentrated on large mural sized works dominated by white and bordered by colorful clusters of forms. This remained his vocabulary throughout his career but by the 1970\'s and 1980\'s a greater degree of structure emerged. In addition to monumental and easel-size paintings he produced a significant oeuvre of works on paper and prints.

Art Institute of Chicago Collection
Dallas Museum of Art, Texas
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Museum of Modern Art, New York
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, California
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C.
Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Massachusetts
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York
Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences, Charleston, West Virginia
Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma
Harvard University Art Museums, Massachusetts NEW!
Kresge Art Museum at Michigan State University
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Wisconsin
Maier Museum of Art at Randolph-Macon Woman\'s College, Virginia
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, Québec
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rennes, France
Museum Jan van der Togt, Amstelveen, Netherlands
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz, Poland
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma
Sheldon Art Gallery, Lincoln, Nebraska
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.
Tate Gallery, London
Walker Art Center, Minnesota
Basel Kunstmuseum, Basel, Switzerland
Moderna Museet, Stokholm

\'Choices\', Galerie Willy Schoots, Eindhoven
2008 Action Painting, Foundation Beyeler, Riehen
2007 Grand Gestures: The Gordon F. Hampton Collection, UAM - University Art Museum, Long Beach, CA
2007 Art Market Now, The Columns, Seoul
2006 Afro & incotri e Confronti italia America, Gallerie d\'Arte Moderna di Udine GAMUD, Udine
2005 Intuitive Reflection, Art Forum Ute Barth, Zurich
2005 Austrian contemporary Art and Postwar Painting, Museo de Art Contemporaneo de Monerrey MARCO, Monterrey, NL
2004 Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Bielefeld
2004 Galerie Delaive, Amsterdam
2004 Baukunst Galerie, Cologne
2003 Timothy Yarger Fine Art, Beverly Hills, California, Special Proofs, 1963-1989
2003 Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
2003 Iwaki City Art, Fukushima, Japan
2003 Oita Art Museum, Oita, Japan
2002 Galerie Andreas Baumgarti, Munich
2002 Lovers Fine Arts, Gstaad, Switzerland
2002 Museum of Modern Art, Toyama, Japan
2002 Kawamura Memorial Museum, Chiba, Japan
2002 Museum of Art, Eime, Japan
2002 University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, Michigan
2001 Alan Cristea Gallery, London, in association with Jonathan Novak Contemporary Art
1999 - 2001 Sam Francis: Paintings 1947-1990, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles- travelled to Menil Collection, Texas; Malmo Konsthall, Sweden; the Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; Galleria Comunale d\'Art Moderna e Contemporanea, Rome
2000 Lawrence Rubin, Greenberg, Van Doren Fine Art, New York
2000 Galerie Delaive, Amsterdam, Holland
2000 Richard Gray Gallery, New York and Chicago
2000 Idemitsu Museum of Arts, Tokyo and Osaka, Japan
1999 Leslie Sacks Fine Art, Los Angeles; Robert Green Fine Arts, California; Gallery Faurschou, Copenhagen; Ikon Ltd., Los Angeles; Manny Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles; Galerie Pascal Retelet, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France; Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris; Baukunst Galerie, Cologne; Pace Editions, New York; Galerie Loeper, Hamburg
1999 Retrospective: Sam Francis: Paintings 1947-1990, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
1998 Dorothy Blau Gallery, Florida; Thomas Segal Gallery, Baltimore; ACA Galerie, Münich; Gallery Guy Pieters, Knokke, Belguim; Bobbie Greenfield Gallery, Los Angeles; Gallery Delaive, Amsterdam; Galleria d’Arte il Gabbiano, Rome
1997 Sam Francis: The Archetypal Image, Frederick M. Weisman Museum of Art, Pepperdine University of Malibu – travelled to The Fundación Caja de Madrid, Spain
1997 André Emmerich Gallery, New York; Manny Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles; Museo d’Arte, Mendrisio, Switzerland; Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago; Gallery Delaive, Amsterdam; Galerie Pascal Retelet, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France
1996 Smith-Andersen Gallery, Palo Alto; Sogetsu Art Museum, Tokyo; Galerie Delaive, Amsterdam; Gagosian Gallery, Los Angeles; Gallery Guy Pieters, Knokke, Belgium; Galerie Michael Haas, Berlin; Galerie Proarta, Zürich
1995 The Last Paintings of Sam Francis at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art
1995 André Emmerich Gallery, New York; Manny Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles; Grunwald/UCLA/Armand Hammer Museum, Los Angeles;
1995 Kunstverein Ludwigsburg, Germany; Les Années Parisiennes 1950-1961 at the Galerie National du Jeu de Paume, Paris
1995 \'The Last Paintings of Sam Francis\' a group of 152 small paintings (painted June through August, 1994, at the Santa Monica house studio), The Los Angeles County Museum of Art
1994 Honored with Distinguished Alumnus Award by The University Art Museum, University of California, Berkeley, which also then created the Sam Francis Scholarship
1994 Long Fine Arts, New York; Galerie Delaive, Amsterdam; Bobbie Greenfield Gallery, Los Angeles; Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris; Galerie Proarta, Zurich; Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York; Nantenshi Gallery, Tokyo; Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago
1993 Retrospective exhibition at Kunst und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn, Germany
1993 Galerie Pudelko, Bonn, Switzerland; Bobbie Greenfield Fine Art, Los Angeles; Michele Cohen Gallery, New York; Ochi Gallery, Ketchum, Idaho; Manny Silverman Gallery, Los Angels; Galerie Iris Wazzau, Davos
1993 Donated ten major paintings to The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
1992 Galerie Daniel Papierski, Paris
1992 Museum van der Togt, Amsterdam, Holland
1992 Kukje Gallery, Seoul, Korea
1991 Retrospective at Galerie Kornfeld, Bern, Switzerland
1991 Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris; James Corcoran Gallery, Los Angeles; Angles Gallery, Los Angeles; Associated American Artists, New York; Gagosian Gallery, New York; Centre Régional d’Art Contemporain Midi-Pyrenées, France
1990 Associated American Artists, New York; GalleryDelaive, Amsterdam; Heland Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm; Ogawa Art Foundation, Tokyo; Ochi Gallery, Ketchum, Idaho; Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh; Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York; Smith-Andersen Gallery, Palo Alto
1989 André Emmerich Gallery, New York, Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris; Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London; Sun Valley Center Gallery, Idaho; Linda Farris Gallery, Seattle; Cantor/Lemberg Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan; Knoedler Gallery, London
1987 - 1989 Founded the Sam Francis Medical Research Center to support the research of infectious and environmental diseases
1988 Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York; Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris; Nantenshi Gallery, Tokyo; Smith-Andersen Gallery, Palo Alto; Greenberg Gallery, St. Louis; Galerie Seoul, Korea
1988 Travelling exhibition throughout Japan organized by The Museum of Modern Art, Toyama and Nantenshi Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1987 Knoedler Gallery, London; Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York; Pamela Auchincloss Gallery, Santa Barbara; Heland Thorden Wetterling Galleries, Stockholm, Sweden; G. Dalsheimer Gallery, Baltimore; Galeria Eude, Barcelona, Spain; Manny Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles; Galerie Pudelko, Bonn, Germany; Lever/Meyerson Galleries, New York
1986 Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York; Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris; Nantenshi Gallery, Toyko; Angles Gallery, Santa Monica; La Mairie de Paris, France
1985 Galerie Kornfeld, Bern; Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris; Nantenshi Gallery, Toyko; Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago; Smith-Andersen Gallery, Palo Alto; Hokin Gallery, Florida
1985 National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
1984 Established Lapis Press to publish artists’ books
1984 André Emmerich Gallery, New York; Pamela Auchincloss, Gallery, Santa Barbara; Brooke Alexander, Inc., New York; Cantor/Lemberg Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan; Robert Elkon Gallery, New York; Thomas Babeor Gallery, La Jolla; Knoedler Gallery, London, UK; Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles; Steven Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco
1983 Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York; Galerie Kornfeld, Bern, Switzerland; Smith-Andersen Gallery, Palo Alto; Foundation Maeght, Saint Paul de Vence, France; Studio Marconi, Milan, Italy; Colorado State University, Colorado; Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris; Art Attack Gallery, Idaho; John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco; nantenshi Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1982 Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York; Nantenshi Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
1981 Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York; Ace Gallery, Los Angeles; Ruth Schaffner Gallery, Santa Barbara; Faith and Charity in Hope Gallery, Idaho
1980 Riko Mizuno Gallery, Los Angeles; James Corcoran Gallery, Los Angeles; Smith-Andersen Gallery, Palo Alto; Abbaye de Senanque, Gordes, France; Los Angeles County Museum of Art
1979 Retrospective of works on paper at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston – traveled to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Manila, Korea and Japan under the US International Communications Agency
1979 Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris, France; Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York; Brooke Alexander, Inc., New York; Art in Progress at Israel Museum, Jerusalem
1979 Gallery of the Cultural Center of the Phillippines, Taipei, Taiwan
1978 Nicholas Wilder Gallery, Los Angeles; Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles; Musee National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
1977 Art in Progress at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art at Humlebæk, Denmark – traveled to Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Liljevalchs Konsthall, Stockholm
1975 - 1977 Nicholas Wilder Gallery, Los Angeles
1975 - 1977 Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris, France
1975 - 1977 Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York
1975 - 1977 Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
1975 - 1977 Galerie Kornfeld und Klipstein, Bern, Switzerland
1975 - 1977 Smith-Andersen Gallery, Palo Alto, California
1975 - 1977 Began collaborating with Garner Tullis on monotypes at the Institute of Experimental Printmaking, San Francisco
1974 Minami Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1974 Idemitsu Art Museum, Tokyo
1972 Retrospective solo museum exhibition at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, which traveled to Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Texas, and Oakland Museum of Art, California. Exhibit at the Stanford University Museum of Art, CA
1969 - 1972 Martha Jackson Gallery, New York
1969 - 1972 Felix Landau Gallery, Los Angeles
1969 - 1972 Solo shows at André Emmerich Gallery, New York; Nicholas Wilder Gallery, Los Angeles
1968 Solo museum exhibition at Centre National d\'Art Contemporain, Paris and Kunsthalle Basel. Solo show at Minami Gallery, Tokyo
1968 Kunsthalle Basel
1968 Minami Gallery, Tokyo
1967 Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York
1967 Retrospective at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX- traveled to University Art Museum, Berkeley; San Francisco Museum of Art
1967 Snow Painting performance in Naibara, Japan
1966 Sky painting performance over Tokyo Bay, Japan
1961 - 1964 Minami Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1961 - 1964 Galerie Kornfeld an Klipstein, Bern, Switzerland
1961 - 1964 Galerie Benador, Zurich, Germany
1961 - 1964 Documenta III, useum Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany
1961 Esther Bear Gallery, Santa Barbara, California
1960 - 1961 Solo museum show at Kunsthalle, Bern which travels to Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
1959 Mural commission by the Chase Manhattan Bank
1959 Solo exhibition at Pasadena Art Museum, California which travels to San Francisco Museum of Art, California and Seattle Art Museum, Washington
1958 The Phillips Gallery, Washington, DC
1957 - 1958 Hyakkaten Department Store, Tokyo, Japan
1957 - 1958 Kintetsu Department Store, Osaka, Japan
1957 Gimpel Fils, London
1956 Martha Jackson Gallery, New York
1956 Galerie Rive Droite, Paris
1956 \'12 Americans\' The Museum of Modern Art, New York
1955 Galerie Rive Droite, Paris
1955 Tendances actuelles de l’Ecole de Paris III at Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland
1952 Galerie du Dragon, Paris