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Red No. 2

A work made of oil on linen.
© 2018 Sam Francis Foundation, California / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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  • A work made of oil on linen.




Sam Francis
American, 1923–1994

About this artwork

Sam Francis’s early work was largely informed by the Abstract Expressionists’ lyricism and strong emphasis on color harmony. Living in Paris in the 1950s, the artist came under the influence of the Impressionist painters Claude Monet and Paul Cézanne, as well as their early 20th-century successors Pierre Bonnard and Henri Matisse. After viewing Monet’s Nympheas at L’Orangerie in 1953, Francis transformed his palette from pale grays and muted hues to an explosive mixture of primary colors. With its juxtaposition of cadmium red and deep blue, a combination that makes the surface seem to pulsate, Red No. 2 exemplifies the vibrancy of Francis’s paintings from this era.


On View, Gallery 291


Contemporary Art


Sam Francis


Red No. 2


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on linen


Not inscribed on recto; inscribed: verso: "Francis" (on stretcher bar in black paint)


195.6 × 99.1 cm (77 × 39 in.)

Credit Line

Ada Turnbull Hertle and Wirt D. Walker funds; purchased with funds provided by Mr. and Mrs. James W. Alsdorf and Edward E. Ayer in memory of Charles L. Hutchinson; Maurice D. Galleher Endowment

Reference Number



© 2018 Sam Francis Foundation, California / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Extended information about this artwork

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