Sam Francis (1923 - 1994)
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Born in San Mateo, California, Sam Francis studied botany, medicine and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. It was not until being injured during his time in the United States Air Force that he began to paint. Once out of the hospital, Francis returned to Berkeley to study art. Initially strongly influenced by Abstract Expressionism, Francis became associated with Tachisme and Zen Buddhism after living in both Paris and Japan. His mature pieces are generally large oil paintings which are typically splashed with bright contrasting color. His work is closely associated with Color Field painting. In 1984, Francis founded The Lapis Press. Francis's works can be found in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Kunstmuseum Basel, and the Centre Pompido-Musee National d'Art Moderne in Paris.