Sam Francis - New Now New York Wednesday, February 27, 2019 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • Provenance

    Private Collection
    Private Collection
    Private Collection, Europe
    Private Collection
    Private Collection
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    A culmination of the artist’s illustrious career, Sam Francis’s Untitled, circa 1990, showcases the artist’s unmatched ability as a colorist and abstract painter. Rendered in monumental scale, Untitled embodies the key tenets of Francis’s practice and creative development. As drips of paint are flung and poured across the vast surface, the dynamism of the implied action beautifully juxtaposes the serenity of the central green rectangle. Calligraphic lines enliven the composition, referencing Francis’s own exuberance and joie-de-vivre felt while bringing paint to life.

    Untitled communicates the varied influences on Francis’s practice, ranging from Abstract Expressionism, Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, as well as Asian art and philosophy. While the painterly drips and splashes recall his artistic forebears such as Jackson Pollock, they equally evidence the artist's study of haboku, traditional Japanese flung-ink painting. Throughout his career, Francis traveled and studied extensively, maintaining studios in Bern, Paris, Tokyo, Mexico City, New York and Northern and Southern California. Constant travels, with time to gaze out of plane windows, provided Francis with creative inspiration, as he was deeply fascinated by light, air, and space. Untitled exemplifies what William Agee defines as the core of Francis’s practice: “Paint used generously and put in the service of color and its energy and power to convey deep feelings is the hallmark, from beginning to end, of Francis’s art.” (William C. Agee, Sam Francis: Catalogue Raisonné of Canvas and Panel Paintings 1946-1994, Berkeley, 2011, pp. 12-13)



indistinctly signed and inscribed "A dialogue david H. and sAm F." lower left
acrylic and silkscreen ink on paper
124 1/4 x 102 1/2 in. (315.6 x 260.4 cm.)
Executed circa 1990.

This work is identified with the interim identification number of SF90-365 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.

$150,000 - 200,000 

Contact Specialist
Sam Mansour
Associate Specialist, Head of New Now Sale
New York
+1 212 940 1219

New Now

New York Auction 27 February 2019