American painter and draughtsman, Francis began painting in 1944 at a time when he was convalescing after an aviation accident. He attended the University of California in Berkeley, a period during which he experimented with various painting styles, among which were Surrealism and the Abstract Expressionism Pollock, Rothko and, principally, Clyfford Still. His own style appeared around 1950, when Francis moved to Paris to join the studio of Fernand Léger, where he met Jean-Paul Riopelle who was later to be an important influence. In identifying himself with Informal Art, he took part in a number of this group's exhibitions although he refused to be formally associated with any movement. The last works of Sam Francis continued to be sensual celebrations of human emotion which was always a main feature of his art. He can be seen as one of the major exponents of Action Painting in America.