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Sam Francis: Five Decades of Abstract Expressionism from California Collections

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Sam Francis: Five Decades of Abstract Expressionism from California Collections

Sacramento, Calif. – The Crocker Art Museum is proud to present Sam Francis: Five Decades of Abstract Expressionism from California Collections, which will be on view January 26 through April 20, 2014. This is the first retrospective exhibition of Francis's work in Northern California since 1973.

This exhibition celebrates internationally acclaimed California native Sam Francis, one of the state's most historically significant artists. Featuring a colorful range of the artist's paintings and unique works on paper, this survey highlights different periods of the artist's oeuvre as represented in extraordinary public and private California collections, starting from the early works that the artist made in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1940s and leading up to the artist's influential and expansive body of work created between the 1950s and the 1990s. Represented are works made in the artist's California studios in Palo Alto, Point Reyes, Santa Monica, and Venice, as well as those made when Francis was living in New York, Switzerland, and Japan.

Born in June 1923 in San Mateo, Francis started his career in California but moved to France in 1950, and by 1956 he became one of the first post-World War II American painters to establish international attention. His works referenced and responded to; French Impressionism, California art of the 1930s and 40s, Abstract Expressionism, Chinese and Japanese scroll paintings, and Color Field Painting of the 1960s. The exhibition includes some of his smallest works, which measure three by two inches, as well as monumental murals over ten feet long.

An illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition and features dialogue on Francis and his work between the exhibition's co-curators: art historian Peter Selz, Ph.D., former curator at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Debra Burchett-Lere, the executive director and interim president of the
Sam Francis Foundation.

The exhibition is organized by the Crocker Art Museum and the Pasadena Museum of California Art in collaboration with the Sam Francis Foundation.

The Crocker Art Museum was the first art museum in the Western U.S. and remains one of the leading art museums in California today. Established in 1885, the Museum features one of the country's finest collections of Californian art, exceptional holdings of master drawings, a comprehensive collection of international ceramics, as well as European, Asian, African, and Oceanic art. The Crocker is located at 216 O Street in Downtown Sacramento. Museum hours are 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Tuesday–Sunday; 10 a.m.–9 p.m., Thursdays. Every third Sunday of the month is "Pay What You Wish Sunday" sponsored by Western Health Advantage. For more information, call (916) 808-7000 or visit crockerartmuseum.org.

Tags: exhibit, Sam Francis

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