Basel Mural I
Oil on canvas 1956-1958

Sam Francis (1923-1994) was an American painter and printmaker who was well known for his abstract paintings and lithographs. During his early career (1950-1958) he would spend time painting in Paris, the south of France, Tokyo, Mexico City, Bern and New York. His artistic development during this time was largely affected by French modern painting, Asian culture and Zen Buddhism in particular. Frances was also heavily influenced by artists such as Mark Rothko, Clifford Still and Arshile Gorky, however his style was most clearly influenced by the works of Jackson Pollock. Frances, whilst being inspired by many abstract expressionists, never quite fit into a single school of art and would incorporate elements of abstract expressionism, impressionism and colour field painting resulting in his own unique style. From 1956-1958 he painted Large murals for the Kunsthalle, Basel 

Poèmes dans le Ciel (Poems in the Sky)
Signed and numbered in pencil lower margin
Lithograph 1986

In the 1960s Francis started to make prints, with lithography being his preferred type. later in the 1980s he started to explore new styles within printmaking and became extremely active, eventually establishing his own print shop. When working on his prints, Francis said “I am the paper, I am the paint, I am the machine”

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