FRANCIS portret | Danubiana}

Retrospective in Blue

19. June 2010 - 29. August 2010 Curators: Gerard Meulensteen, Nico Delaive

The exhibition of Sam Francis (1923 – 1994) from the collections of Gerard Meulensteen and Nico Delaive can be considered the most important event in the 10-year existence of the Danubiana. It is also the most extraordinary project of international post-war art ever presented in Slovakia. Sam Francis is one of the protagonists of Post-Painterly Abstraction. His preoccupation with painting began in 1945 and he was systematically concerned with the creation of his own style. During the 1950s he lived in Switzerland and in Paris, where he became acquainted with avant-garde painting. Travels and life in Japan, India and Thailand had a profound influence on the development of his art: he drew inspiration from oriental calligraphy. He was fascinated by pure colours and their light qualities and was obsessed by the interpretation of non-material substance between light and darkness. Light has the primary function in his paintings and therefore all his paintings have a white base to which he applied paint in a light consistency. In his case action is not the result of chance improvisation, but the outcome of the artist’s extraordinary sensibility, deliberate brushwork and the treatment of colour. “Colour is the es­sence of everything” is one of his many quotes expressing how he perceived the significance of colour. It is also an expression of the spirit of his painting.