« J’ai mieux aimé les tableaux que la vie »

Jean Planque

Sam Francis

(1923 – 1994)

Jean Planque first met Sam Francis in 1959 in New York, where he was conducting business for Ernst Beyeler. On this occasion he bought some fifty of the artist’s small gouaches on paper for the Basel gallery, choosing ten for himself, some of which he gave to close friends. The five Sam Francis works on paper that Jean Planque kept are small in size, yet light isn’t measured in terms of surface. Sam Francis succeeds in sustaining radiance in his works regardless of their format by getting the white ground to infuse high energy into his colors. At the time he accomplished this by building up the contrast between the white background and increasingly opaque colors, whose actual saturation acts to increase the brilliance of light struggling with renewed energy to break through the curtain of reds, blues, yellows and blacks.

Untitled, 1959

Gouache on paper

14.4 x 28.1 cm (5.7 x 11.06 in)

© Sam Francis Foundation, California / 2017, ProLitteris, Zurich