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Sam Francis in his Santa Monica Studio, 1979, photo by Meibao D. Nee
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Summer Reading

by Hunter Drohojowska-Philp

Debra Burchett-Lere, ed., Sam Francis: Catalogue Raisonne of Canvas and Panel Paintings, 1946-1994, 2011, University of California, 320 pp., $495.

Though Sam Francis developed paintings of monumental scale with all-over patterns of monochrome color just a few years after the initial triumph of the Abstract-Expressionists, he did so in Paris. During his eight years there, he evolved as one of the most masterful painters of the 20th century, but being away from New York undermined the critical reception for his work. In the years since, the writing and scholarship has rarely measured up to his stature. That begins to change with the recent University of California Press publication of Sam Francis: Catalogue Raisonné of Canvas and Panel Paintings, 1946-1994.


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