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Red in Red, 1955

San Mateo-born artist Sam Francis discovered painting during his recovery from a plane crash in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1943. Francis’ intensely colored all-over style is associated with the New York School, but Francis skipped the New York art world altogether, working briefly in Paris and primarily in California. Red in Red has a cellular, anatomical quality, like many of Francis’ paintings. The composition also resembles a landscape of yellow sun, red clouds, and black ground.