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Sam Francis


Born in Northern California in 1923, Sam Francis briefly attended the University of California at Berkeley before joining the Army Air Corps in 1943. While in military service, he suffered injuries that led to spinal tuberculosis. During this period, he began to paint. In the late 1940s, Francis began to study at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute). A short time later, he returned to UC Berkeley to study both painting and art history, eventually earning bachelor's and master's degrees.

From early in his career, Francis realized commercial and critical success with his large, paint-splattered, colorful images, which were especially successful in the '60s. Archetypal images - mandalas, trellises, spirals, self-portraits - came to dominate his work during a period in the '70s when he was immersed in the work of Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung.

During the course of his career, Sam Francis was commissioned to paint a number of important murals, including those at the Louvre Museum in Paris, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco International Airport, Seattle's First National Bank and the Kunsthalle in Basel, Switzerland. Most recently, shows have been held at the Konsthall in Malmo, Sweden, the Museo Nacional in Madrid, and the Galleria Communale in Rome, as well as the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. Sam Francis died in 1994. In the end, for the artist, the power of art lies not in its superficial effects, but how it resonates in the soul
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