Sam Francis study
2RC Art printing house
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Text by Valter Rossi from "La vita è segno"
Sam Francis was certainly a man full of magic and even our first meeting, in some ways, was magical.
"Those colors so bright and pure can only be Sam's" said Burri in front of a large canvas four meters by eight.
Here ... Sam Francis introduced himself with his piercing gaze, full of joy; he welcomed us in the Los Angeles gallery, at the Cienega, where he exhibited his latest works.
It was May of '68.
I remember an ironic hint that Burri made to Sam in front of a huge totally white painting with, at the two extreme corners, some very small, very colorful scratches; he said: "You could have tried a little harder!".
Burri did not know, at that moment, that a few years later he would re-read and produce his works with a Franciscan synthesis and rigor, even with the help of graphics. Only a few traces of matter or a glaze of glue would have been sufficient to support works of a few meters.
So we met Sam Francis; from that moment it was he who let us read his work, with his behavior, his personality, his dreams, the joy of living. We, on the other hand, always strove to overcome the difficulties that arose from his precarious health.
Health influenced the various business meetings, each time fixed with enthusiasm, but often postponed.
Rome was a faraway destination from California, for those like him who suffered from sudden, debilitating illnesses, to the point that, for months, he had to think about recovery. The solution was to create an itinerant printing house that could be transferred to the artist's studio.
So Eleonora, as soon as everything was ready, with all the necessary equipment, left for Los Angeles alone. The studio was set up in Venice (California) in a space that Sam had made available to us.
Eleonora on that occasion, from nothing, created an efficient studio, ready to welcome the Artist at any time. After very long pauses, useful for reaching concentration, a series of etchings and aquatints were born, splendid for their immediacy and rigor. It was these first engravings that formed the technical basis that allowed us, later on, to progress and arrive each time at graphic successes as if they were milestones.