The Space of Effusion: Sam Francis in Japan

$ 48.75 $ 65.00

Richard Speer

The Space of Effusion: Sam Francis in Japan

Edited and with a foreword by Debra Burchett-Lere 

Hardback
224 pages, 140 color and 50 b/w illustrations
24 x 30 cm
ISBN 978-3-85881-861-4

Published by Scheidegger & Spiess 

Between abstraction and tradition: Sam Francis’s fruitful encounters with Japanese culture 

One of the world’s preeminent Abstract Expressionists, California-born painter Sam Francis (1923-1994) first traveled to Japan in 1957, quickly established studios and residences there, and became active in a circle of avant-garde artists, writers, filmmakers, architects, and composers, including members of the nascent Gutai and Mono-ha movements. This book chronicles those connections, as well as his complex and evolving relationship with East Asian aesthetics from the 1950s through the 1990s.

From the very first exhibitions Francis had in Tokyo, critics linked his evocative use of negative space with the Japanese concept of ma, a symbolically rich interval between objects or ideas. This shared pictorial and philosophical syntax laid the foundation for a feedback loop of mutual influence that spurred frequent collaborations between the artist and his Japanese contemporaries, extending into the realms of printmaking, ceramics, music, poetry, publishing, and performance.

Written by art critic and curator Richard Speer, with a foreword by Debra Burchett-Lere, executive director and president of the Sam Francis Foundation, this is the first full-length monograph to explore an important but sometimes overlooked milieu in Post-World War II art—a dialogue between Eastern and Western sensibilities that prefigured our current era of global interconnectedness and cross-cultural exchange. Lavishly illustrated with color plates and archival images, it is an adjunct publication for the related exhibition Sam Francis and Japan: Emptiness Overflowing Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2021), co-curated by Speer.

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