Giacometti 1

Sam Francis, As for Appearance II (detail), oil on canvas, 1963-1965 © 2015 Sam Francis Foundation, California / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Sam Francis: Rapid Fluid Indivisible Vision

Location: Fourth-floor Gallery On View: September 18, 2015 – March 7, 2016

Sam Francis was one of the 20th century’s most profound Abstract Expressionist artists. From 1946, when he started painting until his death in 1994, he worked in studios around the world – Santa Monica, Paris, Tokyo, Basel, Seattle, New York and San Francisco, to name a few. His monumental canvases coupled with his ebullient enthusiasm inspired artists and audiences in the United States and abroad.

Sam Francis: Rapid Fluid Indivisible Vision positions Francis among the various artists he influenced, celebrated and with whom he worked. A number of Francis’s abstract works in oil, acrylic, watercolor and lithograph will be on view at the Bechtler.

Central threads running throughout the show are inspiration, mentorship and collaboration, as seen in the spectacular 1¢ Life portfolio he edited in 1964 with the poet/painter Walasse Ting. The publication includes a who’s who of artists working at this time, including Joan Mitchell, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Indiana, Karel Appel, Andy Warhol, Jean-Paul Riopelle and Jim Dine. In conjunction with the Francis works, examples from the Bechtler’s collection of artists who were working near Francis in time, spirit, or place, will be on view to explicate the extent that Francis embodied and influenced modern art.

Exhibition-related programs

In conjunction with the exhibition Sam Francis: Rapid Fluid Indivisible Vision, the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art presents these exhibition-related programs:

Modernism + Film | October 8: Screening of the documentary The Painter Sam Francis

Guest Lecture | October 20: Debra Burchett-Lere, President and Executive Director of the Sam Francis Foundation, presents the lecture Insights into Sam Francis’s Fluid Nature

Third Fridays Free | January 15: The Bechtler kicks off its Third Fridays Free program with a focus on Sam Francis. Free admission is offered from 5 to 9 p.m. along with exhibition tours, watercolor art activities and specialty cocktails.

Family Day | February 13: Hands-on art activities for kids based on the artistic techniques of Sam Francis.


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