Untitled (SF 64-171). 1964. Gouache. Verso with the signature stamp and with stamp of the Sam Francis Estate. On wove paper. 89 x 182.5 cm (35 x 71.8 in), size of sheet. The work is registered at the Samuel L. Francis Foundation Glendale/California under the number SF64-171 and will be included into the forthcoming catalog raisonneé, compiled by Debra Burchett-Lere.
PROVENANCE: From artist's estate. Galerie Proarta, Zurich.
EXHIBITION: Sam Francis in Köln, Galerie Boisserée, Cologne, 23 October - 28 November 2002. Sam Francis: Bilder 1949 to 1968, Galerie Proarta, Zürich, 26 May - 23 June 2004.
In many of Sam Francis' works the center seems to be blank. The coloring of this exquisite work on paper is only circumscribed at top and the right margin, which adds enormous tension to the work. It organizes the virtual reference point of the surface from which the composition gains its tremendous energy. As a representative of a rather lyrical form of Abstract Expressionism Sam Francis' focus is less on the momentary impulse of the Action Painting and more on the poetic effect of the color combinations. "Color is a pattern that becomes apparent on the membrane of the mind" (Sam Francis, in: Künstler. Kritisches Lexikon der Gegenwartskunst, Munich 1994, p. 2). It is the apparently oversized monochrome main part that adds a symbiosis of rest and motion to the composition of marginal fields of strong colors. (StM)