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Sam Francis

Sam Francis

Sam Francis PortraitThe American painter Sam Francis was born in San Mateo, California, on June 25, 1923. He begins to study botany, but soon changes to psychology and medicine, at the University of California in Berkeley in 1941. From 1943 to 1945 he serves in World War II, and suffers a severe spine injury. He returns to painting after a long period of convalescence and goes back to Berkeley, where he studies painting and art history from 1948 to 1950. Among his teachers are Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still.
Sam Francis lives in Paris from 1950-57, where he attends the Académie Léger. Paris is also where his first one-man show takes place in 1952. He meets the artist and critic Michel Tapié, who publishes his influential book "Un art autre" in 1952.
Having been accepted into the vanguard of young European artists, his works are now shown in exhibitions in Paris, London and Bern. His breakthrough in America comes with his participation in the exhibition "Twelve Americans" in the New York Museum of Modern Art in 1956. This period also marks the stylistic change from monochrome complete surface covering compositions to colorful "Color Islands" on the white canvas.
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