Tratto, Action Painting Modena, November 2004
Venice, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Action Painting - Arte americana 1940-1970: dal disegno all'opera, November 2004 - February 2005
American Contemporary Art Gallery, Yearbook 2005/2006, Munich, 2006, pl. no. 9, illustrated in color
The Space at
of these paintings
- Sam Francis
In the late 1950s, Sam Francis embarked on a series of watercolors dominated by blues using a more concentrated style of brushwork. His Blue Balls series and the so called Tokyo Works were executed in a more intimate scale further heightening the evolution of his contemplative brushwork. The present work on paper from 1960 exhibits a rich blue and once more we see the influence of Francis’ early hospital work and his concentration on the natural world, particularly the coloration of the sky. But the blue hues also suggest the soul and release from the material world, as it had for Kandinsky and the Expressionists.
Above all, the Blue Balls series and the Tokyo Works are influenced by the Japanse way of painting. His trip to Japan had left a deep and lasting mark on his interests, palette and style. In his Tokyo Works we see the influence of the "Haboku", or "flung-ink", style. This style taught Francis to open his compositions, giving reign to a free fantasy in curvilinear forms, floating on a blue-white ground. The delicacy of space relationship and the tension among the elements are particularly striking in the present work.
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