Los Angeles

Sam Francis

Otis Institute Gallery

In an exhibition of works in progress, Sam Francis displays four major canvases which bring his (sometimes cyclic) evolution up to date. In two of these, Francis’ bands jag and collide in their familiar, delicately balanced “random” formations. In the others, a grid pattern is formed: one has nearly perfect squares, like the warp and woof of some fabric, incredibly magnified; the other has rectangles with a few diagonals transecting the plane as Broadway traverses midtown Manhattan.

The bands lose nothing of their interest in forming these grids; their anecdotal and gestural richness is, if anything, intensified by being placed within the “cool” context of geometric pattern. The square grid, especially, presents an interesting interplay between the series of regular intersections—each different, each the same—and the succession of spontaneous, seemingly undisciplined passages of which the

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