Sam Francis at Pasadena Museum of California Art

A wonderful and occasionally startling profusion of blues—cobalt, translucent, marine, and of course, Middle—greets you at this ambitious and sprawling retrospective at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. The curators Debra Burchett-Lere and Peter Selz, who pulled both small-format and large-scale works from California collections, display Mr. Francis’ masterly way with color, and, just as important, the way in which white space, even in the center of the canvas, allowed color and abstract forms to take center stage, even when painted at the periphery. The sequence and presentation of work also serve to remind the viewer of Mr. Francis’ early training in watercolor: color has a way of dissolving without losing its impact. While stylistic nods to Henri Matisse and Jackson Pollock may be discerned throughout, there is plenty of room to display the lightness and joy of Sam Francis’ style.

Sam Francis, Five Decades of Abstract Expressionism from California Collections, Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena, through 5 January 2014.

Sam Francis, Pasadena Musuem of California Art

Sam Francis, 3 Blue, oil on canvas, Five Decades of Abstract Expressionism From California Collections, Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena

Sam Francisc, Pasadena Museum of California Art

Sam Francis, Mantis, oil on canvas, Five Decades of Abstract Expressionism From California Collections, Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena

Sam Francis, Five Decades of Abstract Expressionism From California Collections,  Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena

Sam Francis, Untitled, 1970, acrylic on canvas, Five Decades of Abstract Expressionism From California Collections, Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena

Sam Francis, Pasadena Museum of California Art

Sam Francis, Untitled, 1980, acrylic on canvas, Five Decades of Abstract Expressionism From California Collections, Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena

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  1. March 2, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    […] for Droste Effect Magazine Room to Live: Contemporary, Conceptual, California Luc Tuymans at the Menil Collection Sam Francis at Pasadena Museum of California Art […]

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