Sam Francis in Context

Apr 5, 2010

Sam Francis Painting 340

Abstract Expressionist paintings are the kind of things that need to be seen to be believed — as in, before you see one up close and personal, it’s hard to believe that anyone could care about something that a toddler could paint. And then you see one, a big Pollock, say, and it clicks: “Oh.” Or it doesn’t. Plenty of people remain skeptics.

Whether you’re a skeptic or a fan, however, an upcoming lecture at the Norton Simon may shed some light on at least one of the movement’s figures: Sam Francis. His massive Basel Mural I has hung for some time in the Norton’s modern wing. Soon, it will be hanging next to Basel Mural III, Fragments 1 and 2, just acquired by the museum. To celebrate, Debra Burchett-Lere, the director of the Sam Francis Foundation, will be discussing how the Basel Mural paintings fit into the artist’s oeuvre and life.

Sam Francis: The 1950s and the Basel Mural Paintings in Context
Saturday, April 10, 4 – 5 p.m.
The Norton Simon Museum
411 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
626.449.6840 or



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