Sam Francis - Contemporary Day Sale London Wednesday, July 2, 2014 | Phillips

Create your first list.

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

  • Provenance

    Christie’s, New York, Twentieth Century Art, 13 May 1998, lot 379
    Private Collection, Verona
    Private Collection

  • Exhibited

    Seoul, Kukje Gallery, Sam Francis: Works 1965–1991, September-October 1992; exh. cat. (colour illus.)

  • Literature

    D. Burchett-Lere (ed.), Sam Francis: Catalogue Raisonné of Canvas and
    Panel Paintings 1923-1994, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011,
    no. SFF.1628, DVD I, (colour illus.)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Sam Francis plays a prominent role in post-war American painting yet is also associated with the Abstract Expressionist movement; drawing inspiration from, amongst others, the work of Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. The artist also experienced extensive exposure to French and Japanese art and these eclectic examples had a unique effect on the subsequent development of his diverse colour palette and explain the suggested element of calligraphy in his work.

    In the 1970’s Francis’ work featured the use of hard colour and regimented structure, yet his stylistic transition throughout the subsequent decade tended towards these less rigid configurations and more expressive uses of colour. Join the Chaos exemplifies his latest stylistic approach, utilising a mixture of dripping and gesturing techniques to create ‘islands of colours’ on white canvases. The combination of these explosions of colour with the vast, stark, white backgrounds creates highly expressive compositions. The round canvas is cropped to size and, due to its circular format and continuation out of the picture plane, emphasises the dynamic forms depicted and evokes the inclusive chaos inferred by the title of the piece itself. Join the Chaos thus perfectly transmits Francis’ appreciation of painting as a depiction of “the beauty of space and the power of containment.”


Join the Chaos (SFF.1628)

acrylic on tondo shaped canvas, mounted on wood panel and stretcher
152.1 cm (59 7/8 in.) diameter
Signed and dated ‘Sam Francis 1990’ on the reverse. This work is Sam Francis Archive No. SFP90-3PRS.

£100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for £194,500

Contact Specialist
Henry Highley
Head of Sale
[email protected]
+ 44 20 7318 4061

Contemporary Day Sale

London Auction 3 July 2014 2PM