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Sam Francis, American, 1923 - 1994

Made in United States, North and Central America


Oil on canvas

10 feet 2 inches × 6 feet 2 inches (309.9 × 188 cm)

© Samuel L. Francis Foundation, California / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Curatorial Department:
Contemporary Art

* Gallery 171, Modern and Contemporary Art, first floor (Sachs Gallery)

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
125th Anniversary Acquisition. Partial and promised gift of Dennis Alter, 2000

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Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art Handbook (2014 Edition)

    This brilliant canvas reveals Sam Francis at the height of his creativity, when he responded to the natural world through his distinctive painting language. Divided into fields of warm and cool tones, the picture is a tumbling accumulation of cell-like forms, realized through soaking and dripping paint. While the artist’s dynamic colors and nuanced exploration of the painting process place him squarely in the context of Abstract Expressionism, Red, which Francis painted in Paris, also represents his lifelong homage to Impressionism and Fauvism. Indeed, this unique marriage of elements from American and French painting traditions remained the hallmark of Francis’s work throughout his career. Susan Rosenberg and John Vick, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2014, p. 352.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.

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