Sam FrancisUntitled Black and White (SF73-0001)
Ink and acrylic on paper
Signed and dated
22.01 x 30 in ( 55.9 x 76.2 cm )
Inquiry - Untitled Black and White (SF73-0001), 1973


Included in the Sam Francis : Catalogue raisonné of Canvas and Panel Paintings, under the n° SFF.581


Esther Bear Gallery, Santa Barbara
Amalia Collection by Schulthess, Santa Monica
Acquired by descent directly by the current owner
Bonhams auction, Paris 


Debra Burchett-Lere, Ed.,Sam Francis: Unique Works  from the Online Catalogue Raisonné Project, included as number SF73-0001


Santa Barbara, Esther Bear Gallery, Sam Francis: Black and White Works, 17 June-20 July 1973

Artwork's description

From the end of the 1960s, Sam Francis carried out in-depth research on light. He wonders about the two contradictory states of the latter: "black, the original background from which the light springs, and white, the base of the light and the sum of the colors". He seeks to obtain a good balance since, according to him, “an increase in light causes an increase in darkness”. His painting is not fixed, the irregular shape of the spots and the arrangement of black and white in bands come to rest and form a network, both structured and disarticulated.

Artist's biography

Sam Lewis Francis said Sam Francis is an American painter, known for his non-figurative work. Borned in 1923 in San Mateo (California), the artist has created a new color aesthetic and a new design canvas.

Sam Francis was not intended to become a painter, following studies in medicine and psychology. In 1944, after joining the Army as an aviator, he was victim of a plane crash, crashing in the desert. During his two years, where he stayed at the hospital, he began to start painting. This artist was convinced that art really helped him. In 1946, he decided to go to San Francisco to attend the courses of the artist Clyfford Still, before leaving for Paris in 1946.

His work is in various movements initiated and developed by American artists such as Pollock, de Kooning, Kline. Francis mainly used the technique of "dripping" in the composition of his works.