acrylic on canvas
310 x 635 cm (122 x 250 in.)
inscribed twice on the verso overlap 'SFP 80-46', as well as with hanging directions, verso with the Sam Francis Estate mark and signature stamp
Early on in his artistic career, Francis began to be interested in the possibilities of large formats. As early as 1950, before he left Berkeley and went to Paris, he painted 'Opposites' - now in the collection of the Idemitsu Museum of Arts in Tokyo - which, with its dimensions of 234 by 182 cm challenges the physical presence of the works of his teachers, Pollock und Rothko. During the 1950s Francis continued to pursue his interest in the density and openness in large paintings, the main works of his so-called "heroic period" are icons of post war art. Francis never was a dry formalist, he created abstract narratives in colour. In his pictures, as he intended, colour develops ist own life, makes ist own impression and conveys certain emotions. The composition of the present work shows Francis' use of certain compositional structures as a result of his Jungian studies in the 1970s. These include circular and square mandalas, spirals and crosses - all of which are considered symbols of unity, wholeness, and completeness. The colours are joyful and dynamic. Black blocks emanate from the centre, creating energetic diagonal lines across the canvas. These lines, like paths, might be symbols of the artist's artistic discoveries - and for self-discovery.