Sam Francis At the Center of Space

Work selection

About the exhibition

Over the summer months, the Samuelis Baumgarte Gallerie is pleased to present you the extensive solo exhibition "Sam Francis - At the Center of Space". With selected works from 1957 to 1994, we are showing an exciting cross-section through the oeuvre of the famous American color field painter and abstract expressionist Sam Francis from June 12 to August 21, 2021.

The vernissage of the exhibition "Sam Francis - At the Center of Space" will take place on Saturday, June 12, 2021 at 5 p.m. with an introduction by Jörg Mascherrek, M.A. Art historian, Duisburg. Registration for the vernissage is required. A catalog will be published to accompany the exhibition.

Sam Francis, born in San Mateo, California in 1923, is one of the most important painters of American Abstract Expressionism and has been an internationally acclaimed and recognized artist since the 1950s as a multiple participant in documenta. Fascinated by the pure color as a design value and the effects of light, Francis covers his canvases and works on paper with bright, intensely glowing spots of color, the thin paint often spreading over the canvas in fine lines and soft shapes. Francis understands painting as a process in which “controlled chance”, order and chaos, the unconscious and the deliberate play a central role.

Through the combination of material, technology and color, Francis creates a unique symbolic-associative design language. The result is emotional worlds of images full of joie de vivre, because "painting is about the beauty of the space and the power of limitation," says Francis. An outstanding and early example of the works created in the 1950s is Untitled, 1957, gouache on paper, 9.5 x 6.5 cm.

In the 1960s, acrylic paint played a major role in his work, as in Untitled, 1964, acrylic on paper, 90.2 x 62.9 cm. Brush strokes collect in large and small color fields that are always in a harmonious relationship to one another. The powerful, expressive application of paint at is To Mako, approx. 1966, acrylic on paper, 104.1 x 74.9 cm is an example of the expressive painting on the edge of the work as well as the fine splashes and drops of paint that are so characteristic of Francis' work be let. This impression of action painting will continue in Francis' artistic work in the decades to come. The typical color islands and rivulets as well as the extensive color structure of the 1970s can be found in a very special highlight of the exhibition. The over 3 meter large work E V, 1970 - 71, acrylic on canvas, 304.8 x 182.9 cm impresses with its skillful merging of the white canvas with the delicate puzzles of the translucent acrylic paints.

Sam Francis shows himself to be influenced throughout his life not only by the use of primary colors in Monet's work and by the American expressionism of Jackson Pollock, but his works are points of contact with Far Eastern, especially Japanese, culture. He uses his stays in Paris and other European cities as well as two world trips that take him to Thailand, India and Tokyo for in-depth studies that produce impressive works. The message that Sam Francis expresses with his works is: "We are always at the Center of Space."

From June 12th to August 21st, 2021 the exhibition "Sam Francis - At the Center of Space" will be presented in the Samuelis Baumgarte Gallerie.

Opening Hours

Monday - Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

For all work images: © Sam Francis Foundation, California / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Online Katalog

Past exhibitions