• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2168

    Post War and Contemporary Art Morning Session

    14 May 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 104

    Sam Francis (1923-1994)

    Blue in Motion III

    Price Realised  


    Sam Francis (1923-1994)
    Blue in Motion III
    oil on canvas
    45 x 57½ in. (114.3 x 146 cm.)
    Painted in 1960-1962.

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    This work will be included in the forthcoming Sam Francis Catalogue raisonné edited by Debra Burchett-Lere and published by the University of California Press, Berkeley and is registered with the Sam Francis Foundation as archive number SFP60-10.

    "Not surprisingly, the outstanding qualities of Sam Francis's painting are the same as his personality - intuition and intelligence. A clear intelligence is felt to be consciously at work in these paintings and is what ultimately makes them so satisfying. Everything else seems to be out of the way--labor, preparation, skill, technique: the paintings appear as if spontaneously. But it is the rarest kind of simplicity, that of master touch and sure control. Somehow there seems to be more to them than meets the eye. From the few spots on canvas enough is suggested to encourage the viewer to relate them to his own experience. Visually they are metaphors, images open to comparisons with other things in the universe...."

    Betty Freeman, Sam Francis: Ideas and Paintings, 1969.


    Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner, September 29, 1964

    Pre-Lot Text



    P. Selz, Sam Francis, New York, 1975, p. 78 (illustrated).
    P. Selz, Sam Francis, rev. ed., New York, 1982, p. 78 (illustrated).
    Y. Michaud, Sam Francis, Paris 1982, p. 103 (illustrated in color). M. Waldberg, Sam Francis: Metaphysics of the Void, Toronto, 1987, pp. 42-43 (illustrated in color).


    New York, Martha Jackson Gallery, Sam Francis, June 1963.
    Houston, Museum of Fine Arts; Berkeley, University Art Museum, Sam Francis: A Retrospective Exhibition, October 1967-February 1968, no. 37, p. 52 (illustrated).
    Kunsthalle Basel; Karlsruhe, Bädischer Kunstverein eV; Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, Sam Francis, April-November 1968, fig. 46 (illustrated).
    Paris, Centre national d'art contemporain Minist'ere des Affaires Culturelles, Sam Francis, December 1968-January 1969.
    Buffalo, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Sam Francis in the Gallery Collection: Recent Acquisitions and Other Works, November 1973-January 1974, p. 80 (illustrated).