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SAM FRANCIS

Born in 1923 in San Mateo, California; died in 1994 in San Mateo, California.

He enrols at the University of Berkeley, California, with a major in botany, and minors in psychology and medicine. During World War II he interrupted his studies to enlist as a pilot in 1943. After a plane crash, he is hospitalized for three years, during which he devotes himself to painting as therapy. Back in Berkeley he graduates in painting and art history. His painting is characterised by the freedom of the structures, inserted into the stream of the American abstract expressionism and action painting. In 1950 he moved to Paris where, two years later, he had his first solo exhibition at the Galerie du Dragon. In 1955, he exhibited for the first time, at Kunsthalle Museum in Bern. In 1959 he returned to live in New York and in 1962 moved to Santa Monica in California. In 1984, he founded the Lapis Press, now one of the most important publishing houses specialised in the visual arts and in philosophy, and created a foundation dedicated to research and support of alternative medicine. In 1993, he donated ten paintings created between 1951 and 1992 to The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. His works are now in various museums collections, including The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, the Museum of Modern Art in Shiga (Japan) and the Tate Gallery in London.

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