Untitled (SF 79-885)
Acrylic on card. 75 x 104.5 cm. Framed under glass. Signature stamp "Sam Francis", stamp "The Sam Francis Estate" and archive and work numbers of the Sam Francis Estate and Sam Francis Foundation, Santa Monica, California, verso.
After the edge paintings of the 1960s - in which Sam Francis left the centre of his paintings white and pushed the colours to the outermost edge - from the beginning of the 1970s, he allowed the colours to return to the centre of the composition. He simultaneously introduced regulated bands of colour which increasingly covered the picture surface like a grid. They structure the picture surface evenly and thus give each part of the picture equal relevance. There are no longer any dominant areas at the middle or edge.
The delicate turquoise-coloured grid lines which cross the present work in right-angled bands of colour are like a woven structure contrasting with the red, blue, yellow and violet dots and streaks. Francis thus creates a light, translucent composition of great equilibrium. Echoes of Far Eastern calligraphie, French Impressionism, colour field painting and action painting - all influences that shaped his artistic development - can be accounted for in works like these.
This work is identified with the interim identification number of SF 79-885 in consideration for the forthcoming Sam Francis: Catalogue Raisonné of Unique Works on Paper. This information is subject to change as scholarship continues by the Sam Francis Foundation.
Artist's estate, California; Gallery Delaive, Amsterdam (label verso); Baukunst Galerie, Cologne (label verso); private collection, Northern Rhine-Westphalia