Gabrielle Selz discusses Light on Fire: The Life and Art of Sam Francis
We are excited to welcome Gabrielle Selz to our Friends @ Home author series to discuss her book Light on Fire: The Life and Art of Sam Francis.
The first in-depth biography of Sam Francis, the lendary American abstract painter who broke all the rules in his personal and artistic life.
Light on Fire is the first comprehensive biography of Sam Francis, one of the most important American abstract artists of the twentieth century. This book traces the extraordinary and ultimately tragic journey of a complex and charismatic artist who first learned to paint as a former air-corps pilot encased for three years in a full-body cast. While still a young man, Francis saw his color-saturated paintings fetch the highest prices of any living artist. His restless desire resulted in five marriages and homes on three continents; his entrepreneurial spirit led to founding a museum, a publishing company, a reforestation program and several nonprofits. Light on Fire captures the art, life, personality, and talent of a man whom the art historian and museum director William C. Agee described as a rare artist participating in the “visionary reconstruction of art history,” defying creative boundaries among the likes of Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Willem de Kooning. With settings from World War II San Francisco to postwar Paris, New York, Tokyo, and Los Angeles, Selz crafts an intimate portrait of a man who sought to resolve in art the contradictions he couldn’t resolve in life.
Gabrielle’s previous book, Unstill Life: A Daughter’s Memoir of Art and Love in the Age of Abstraction (W.W. Norton, 2014), received the best memoir of the year award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors and was listed as a best book of 2014 by the San Francisco Chronicle.