The Norton Simon Museum presents Drawing, Dreaming and Desire: Works on Paper by Sam Francis, an exhibition that features the artist’s drawings of erotica and the female nude, many on view for the first time. While Francis is renowned for abstract, atmospheric and vigorously colored paintings on a grand scale, these intimate drawings—meditations made visible—in pen and ink, acrylic and watercolor, show viewers a rarely-seen figurative aspect of his oeuvre. Dynamic but little known, this body of work ranges from line drawings of the 1950s to gestural brushstrokes of the 1980s and resonates with significant moments in the artist’s life.
Drawing, Dreaming and Desire presents works on paper that explore the subject of erotica by the internationally acclaimed artist Sam Francis (1923–1994). Renowned for his abstract, atmospheric and vigorously colored paintings, these intimate drawings—thoughts made visible, in pen and ink, acrylic and watercolor—relate to the genre of erotic art long practiced by artists in the West and the East. They resonate with significant moments in the artist’s biography, and reveal another aspect of his creative energy. This highly spirited but little known body of work, which ranges from the line drawings of the 1950s to the gestural, calligraphic brushstrokes of the 1980s, provides insight to a deeply personal side of the artist’s creative oeuvre.