Light on Fire:The Art and Life of Sam Francis -- ONSITE at Mechanics' Institute | Mechanics' Institute

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Light on Fire:The Art and Life of Sam Francis -- ONSITE at Mechanics' Institute
with author Gabrielle Selz in Conversation with Bay Area Writer Patricia Albers

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Drawing on exclusive interviews and private correspondence, Gabrielle Selz traces the extraordinary life of this 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 non-profits. With settings from World War II San Francisco to post-war Paris, New York, Tokyo and Los Angeles, Selz writes an intimate portrait of a man who sought to resolve in art the contradictions he couldn’t resolve in life.








Gabrielle Selz is an award-winning author. Her books include the first comprehensive biography of the revered American painter, Sam Francis, Light on Fire, and Unstill Life: Art and Love in the Age of Abstraction. Her essays and art reviews have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Daily Beast, The Los Angeles Times, Literary Hub, Hyperallgic, SquareCylinder, Art & Object, Art Papers, The Rumpus, and The Huffington Post among others. She makes her home in Oakland, California.



Patricia Albers is the author of Joan Mitchell, Lady Painter: A Life (Knopf), the first biography of the Abstract Expressionist painter. Albers’s previous book, Shadows, Fire, Snow: The Life of Tina Modotti, earned a starred review in Publishers Weekly and was named a Best Book of 1999 by the Library Journal. She also published Tina Modotti and the Mexican Renaissance, the catalog for the exhibition of Modotti’s photographs that she co-curated for Stockholm’s Moderna Museet and the Arles Photography Festival. Albers lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her current project is Everything is Photograph: A Life of André Kertész to be published by Other Press.






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