This work is registered with the Sam Francis Foundation under number SFP89-166.
Sam Francis' career as a painter began at the pinnacle of abstract expressionism and mirrors an opening up of opportunities, specifically to American artists, in the years following World War II. The multiplicity of influences, from Zen Buddhism to Californian hippie culture accounts for the richness of this artist's work and despite the simultaneous development of American Pop-Art and the subsequently developing range of isms, Francis stayed devoted to his colourful and bewitching expressionism.
In the late 1950s Francis detached himself from the chiaroscuro quality that had formerly dominated his palette and, in a series entitled In Lovely Blueness, the power and luminescence of different colours is finally explored. The resulting examination of the primed canvas and its covering coats has become characteristic of the latter half of Francis' career.
Untitled of 1989, although a later work by the artist, is yet as stirring and luminous as his more youthful explorations of colour. As Francis adapts processes and techniques of the alchemist or shaman, the picture opens up a window onto the soul of its creator.
"Painting is a way of expressing feelings and intuition at a specific moment, by a specific person" (S. Francis quoted in Sam Francis, exh. cat., Amsterdam, Gallery Delaive, 1996, p. 5).