Composition: Black and Blue (SF56-157). 1956. Gouache. On creme wove paper (with watermark). 44.7 x 55.8 cm (17.5 x 21.9 in), the full sheet.
The work is registered at the Samuel L. Francis Foundation, Glendale/California, with the interims archive number "SF56-157" and will be included into the upcoming catalogue raisonné "Sam Francis: Catalogue Raisonné of Unique Works on Paper".
PROVENANCE: Arthur Tooth & Sons Ltd., London (with gallery label on rear of frame). Waddington Galleries Ltd., London (with gallery label on rear of frame). Andre Emmerich, New York (with gallery label and stamp on rear of frame). Jan Krugier Gallery, New York (with gallery label on rear of frame) Private collection Southern Germany (acquired from aforementioned in 1988).
This work is particularly captivating for its strong and bright contrasting colors and the drippy color accents that were applied both spontaneously as well as intentionally. As a representative of a rather lyrical form of Abstract Expressionism Sam Francis' focus is less on the momentary impulse of Action-Painting and much stronger on the poetic effect of the color combinations. "Color is a pattern that becomes apparent on the spirit's membrane" (Sam Francis, in: Künstler. Kritisches Lexikon der Gegenwartskunst, Munich 1994, p. 2). The compositions of color stains overlay one another, at times transparent at times opaque. In some cases they are close to one another, in some cases they are far apart. The aesthetic quality of the works is of an outstanding importance allowing the observer both meditative as well as exhilarant visual sensations. [EL]