Sam Francis
American, 1923-1994

Oil on canvas
73 1/8 x 42 inches

In 1944, at the age of twenty-one, the American artist Sam Francis began painting while in an Army hospital in Denver, where he was recovering from a United States Air Corps flight-training emergency landing that led to spinal tuberculosis. This experience of painting from his hospital bed had a fundamental and lasting impact on his work—it made him focus on the flat space of a canvas and the challenge of creating illusion within it. [His] early works were mostly portraits and landscapes, but as he regained his health and became more immersed in painting, his style evolved toward...

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