Layering nearly translucent areas of color with more thickly applied gouache, the color in Domrémy jumps from itself to the starkness of the untouched white sheet. The expanses of deliberate, vivid color are exacerbated by the vastness of the negative space on either side of the cascading color—areas that are highly intentional. While in Tokyo in 1957, Francis lived and worked in a temple, observing the lessons of traditional Japanese haboku, or flung-ink painting, as well as ikebana, the art of flower arrangement. Both studies are evident in Domrémy, where the gestural color freely falls down the vertical expanse of the work, into a world unknown. The notion of the void—central to East Asian culture—is expressed clearly here. Francis’ establishing a permanent studio in Japan stands as a further testament to the importance of Japanese traditions as a paramount influence on the artist. In fusing both Eastern and Western cultures in Francis' magnificent body of work, Peter Selz explains: "He reflects on the symbolism of white as the imperial color of magnificence and nobility, as the color of Great Jove, the albatross, and the veil of Christianity's deity, but he also notes that it is the color of evil, transcendent horror, and great panic, the shroud of death and the fog of ghosts" (Peter Seltz, Sam Francis, New York 1982, p. 62).
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