SAM FRANCIS. The Spirit of the Shadow.

Paintings and Etchings



Please join us for the opening reception celebrating the artist's birthday with Francis family and friends: Thursday, June 25 from 6:30 to 9PM. Smith Andersen North, San Rafael


Samuel Lewis Francis (1923-1994) was born in San Mateo, California, and studied botany, medicine, and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. He served as a pilot in the United States Air Force during World War II, before suffering injuries that led to spinal tuberculosis. It was during his several years of rehabilitation that his interest in art grew strong and once out of the hospital he returned to Berkeley, this time to study studio art and art history. Francis was initially influenced by older abstract expressionists like Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still as well as airy, light-filled Japanese painting and Jungian psychology. By the early 1950s he was living in Paris having his first exhibition there in 1952, which launched his internationally acclaimed career. While there he became associated with tachism and his works show an intuitive, spontaneous form of expression. He later spent time in Japan, and Zen Buddhism influenced his work. For Francis, art was a path to transcendence. Throughout his career he traveled extensively, working and exhibiting in Tokyo, Switzerland, Paris and the United States. In 1962 he settled in Santa Monica, CA and established a lithography workshop there. Francis spent his last six years mostly in West Marin, where is buried. His gravesite is to the left just after you enter the Olema Cemetery, on Highway 1. The work of Sam Francis is represented in major private and public collections worldwide.


For additional information, please contact Stefan Kirkeby at 415 455 9733, or e-mail: info@smithandersennorth.com