What art movement was the painter Sam Francis associated with?

The painter Sam Francis was a part of the American Abstract Expressionist movement. He was also associated with the Colour Field, Tachisme and Action Painting movements.

Sam Francis trained in the studio of the painter Fernand Léger in Paris, where he also discovered the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists who would inspire him in his work: Pierre Bonnard, Claude Monet and Henri Matisse. He also met members of the Parisian art world, including the artists Norman Bluhm, Al Held, Joan Mitchell and Jean-Paul Riopelle. These influences, and Sam Francis’ interest in the depiction of the sky and light, led the artist to experiment with an informal form of abstraction. Francis has also been compared to the New York artists Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. In 1957, while he was in Japan, Francis began to experiment with the white space that would occupy an increasingly important position in his paintings. The artist developed a profound interest in Eastern philosophies, especially Buddhism, which had an especially important influence on his work. Francis showed an exceptional mastery of the monumental format, inspired in his monumental works by Monet’s Water Lilies, which he saw at the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris. These very large-format works allow the viewer to immerse themselves completely in the environments created by Sam Francis. Between 1960 and 1963, the artist created Blue Balls, a series of paintings characterised by biomorphic forms, mostly in blue, laid out over the surface of the canvas. The colours of the artist’s works became progressively darker in the 1970s, when he painted the series Grids: a series of paintings structured with dark coloured grids.

Please visit the painter Sam Francis’ dedicated page or the page on Abstract Expressionism to learn more about this art movement.

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