Blue Balls, Sam Francis
Sam Francis
Blue Balls
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Sam Francis

Blue Balls, 1961

503 x 651 mm
Physical Description
Watercolour on wove paper
Inventory Number
Object Number
17890 Z
Acquired in 2019 as a bequest from Ulrike Crespo from the Karl Ströher Collection
Can be presented in the study room of the Graphische Sammlung (special opening hours)


About the Work

After his encounter with East Asian culture, Sam Francis departed from the painterly concentration of his earlier compositions in favour of an open, virtually liberated application of the medium. He introduced individual highlights in watercolour with a soft brush or sprayed it onto the paper. The rhythmic colour progressions of varying density and the tension-charged juxtapositions with blank areas produce vibrating pictorial spaces that fairly burst with colour and energy.

About the Acquisition

The Städel Museum has the photographer, psychotherapist, philanthropist, and long-time Frankfurt resident Ulrike Crespo (1950–2019) to thank for more than ninety works ranging from classical modernism to American pop art. The paintings, drawings, and prints by Wassily Kandinsky, Otto Dix, Oskar Schlemmer, Max Ernst, Jean Dubuffet, Cy Twombly, and others originally belonged to the holdings of her grandfather, the Darmstadt-based industrialist Karl Ströher (1890–1977), who amassed an extensive art collection after World War II.

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