Samuel Francis, known as Sam Francis, was born in San Mateo in the United States in 1923. He studied botany and psychology at Berkeley. An American air force pilot during World War II, he crashed his plane and suffered a very serious injury to his spine. He will spend almost 4 years, immobile, on a hospital bed. With a box of watercolors received as a gift during his long stay in hospital, Sam Francis begins to paint what he sees (sky and clouds, impressions of light etc...).<br />Finally recovered again, he began his artistic studies at the University of California (1948-1950). In 1950 he settled in Paris; he will remain there for more than 10 years alternating with stays in the south of France. His first solo show was held in Paris in 1952. Influenced by color-field painting, Sam Francis works on white backgrounds, on which he applies shaded spots of color left free to flow, enclose or free the virgin space. Working on all formats, the artist creates series: they will be organic forms or mosaics, figures or "sheets" (1965-1969). In the second half of the 1960s, the artist created paintings of colored smoke, projected from the sky by helicopters.<br />In the 70s he became interested in Jungian theory on the unconscious and esotericism, painting particularly suggestive canvases: grids, mandalas, self-portraits etc... In the following years Sam Francis played more and more with the color with which he "splashed" the canvases, the drawings and the monotypes, without any formal concern (the “Instant Paintings” series).<br />Sam Francis died in Santa Monica in the United States in 1994.