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Sam Francis


Air (1969) by the American artist Sam Francis (1923-1994) is a 381 cm by 548.6 cm large painting that hangs in the PhD room at House of Innovation, Norrtullsgatan 2.

“Painting is about the beauty of space and the power of containment” is a famous quote by Sam Francis - an American artist known for his exuberantly colorful, large-scale abstract painting.

Francis is known for abstract, mural-sized canvases on which thin washes, drips, and splatters of primary colors float within vast areas of white space – a format emphasized in his series of Edge Paintings (of which Air is one). Exploring the creative process was on of Francis driving forces.

Sam Francis was one of the first post-World War II painters to develop an international reputation. Between 1950 and 1994 Francis spent time and painted in Paris, the south of France, Tokyo, Mexico City, Bern, New York and Los Angeles.

Sam Francis created thousands of paintings as well as works on paper, prints and monotypes, housed in major museum collections and institutions around the world, such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Kunstmuseum Basel, the Idemitsu Museum of Arts, Tokyo, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Centre Pompidou-Musee National d'Art Moderne, Paris and Moderna Museet in Stockholm.

Francis´ work holds references to abstract expressionism, color field painting, Chinese and Japanese art, French impressionism and his own California roots.

Air, 1969, acrylic on canvas:

Private Collection
Estate of the Artist, California
Ace Gallery, Los Angeles

Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Sam Francis: Recent Paintings, 1970, no. 5
Bonn, Kunst und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutchland, Sam Francis, 1993, pp. 190-191, illustrated in color
Los Angeles, Ace Gallery, Sam Francis: Edge Paintings, 2003

Debra Burchett-Lere Ed., Sam Francis: Catalogue Raisonné of Canvas and Panel Paintings, 1946–1994, Berkeley 2011, no. 514, illustrated in color on DVD I

Air by Sam Francis is a donation to the school by Lars Bane.


Sam Francis in his studio.