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Sherron Francis Paintings

American, b. 1940

Sherron Francis was born in the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove, Illinois in 1940. She studied fine art at the University of Oklahoma from 1958 to 1960 before transferring to the Kansas City Art Institute. She ultimately graduated from the Institute in 1963. In Missouri, Francis met Dan Christensen (Class of 1964), an artist friend, who would play a key role in her career throughout the next two decades. Francis then received her MFA from the University of Indiana before assuming a teaching position at Eastern Michigan University.

In 1968, with only $300 on hand, Francis moved to 16 Waverly Place in Soho. At the time, the neighborhood boasted some of the biggest names in Abstract Expressionism. She quickly became friends with Walter Darby Bannard, Peter Young, Larry Zox and Larry Poons, who all lived and worked in the neighborhood. In fact, Francis introduced Larry Poons to his now wife, Paula, a friend and student of Francis.

By 1971, Christensen, who was exhibiting with Andre Emmerich, introduced Francis to the legendary gallerist. There was no better gallery to be showcasing Abstract Expressionism and Color Field painting during this decade for an artist.

For context, in 1972, Emmerich held solo exhibitions by art titans, such as Hans Hofmann, Al Held, Esteban Vicente, David Hockney and Morris Louis. In 1973 alone, Emmerich gave one-person exhibitions to Helen Frankenthaler, Kenneth Noland, Hofmann, Jack Bush and a new discovery: 32-year-old Sherron Francis. The exhibition for Francis was a great success with Peter Schjeldahl positively reviewing it in the New York Times.

Francis’s career now took off with the stain paintings. In 1973, Francis exhibited at the Whitney Biennial and then received a second solo exhibition at Emmerich the following year. Corporate collections and private enthusiasts, including Helen Frankenthaler and Clement Greenberg, rushed to purchase her paintings. More than sixty of her paintings sold in one year at Emmerich’s gallery.

Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, Francis exhibited at other leading American galleries, including Janie C. Lee, Barbara Kornblatt, Douglas Drake, Rubiner and Tibor de Nagy.

In the late 1970s, Francis became more interested in utilizing new acrylic and gel mediums that were becoming available. By 1980, she was also creating clay works and exhibiting them alongside Kikuo Saito and Betty Woodman. In 1983, art historian Jack Flam selected one of Francis’s paintings in his “Artists Choose Artists II” exhibition, consisting of works by Carl Andre, Jim Dine, Brice Marden, Richard Serra and Frank Stella.

Francis taught at several institutions including the Ridgewood School of Art and Design from 1972 to 1985 and Cooper Union from 1978 to 1985.

The landscape in downtown New York began to shift in the mid-1980s. When her landlord sold the building on Waverly Place, Francis moved to the North Fork permanently. Her move effectively severed ties with not just New York City, but also the art world, and her reputation went into eclipse. This sets the stage for rediscovery in 2022.

Find original Sherron Francis art on 1stDibs.

(Biography provided by Lincoln Glenn)

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Artist: Sherron Francis
"Titled Out" Sherron Francis, Female Abstract Expressionism, Brown Color Field
By Sherron Francis
Located in New York, NY
Sherron Francis Titled Out, 1973 Signed, titled and dated on the reverse Acrylic on canvas 66 3/4 x 38 1/2 inches Artists such as Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Dan Christensen,...
Category

1970s Abstract Expressionist Sherron Francis Paintings

Materials

Acrylic, Canvas

"Untitled" Sherron Francis, Female Abstract Expressionism, Black Color Field
By Sherron Francis
Located in New York, NY
Sherron Francis Untitled, 1977 Signed and dated on the reverse Acrylic and mixed media on canvas 93 x 42 inches Artists such as Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Dan Christensen, a...
Category

1970s Abstract Expressionist Sherron Francis Paintings

Materials

Acrylic, Canvas

"Grey II" Sherron Francis, Female Abstract Expressionism, Color Field
By Sherron Francis
Located in New York, NY
Sherron Francis Grey II, 1975 Signed, titled and dated on the reverse Acrylic on canvas 80 x 69 1/2 inches Artists such as Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Dan Christensen, and Sa...
Category

1970s Abstract Expressionist Sherron Francis Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Acrylic

"Untitled" Sherron Francis, Female Abstract Expressionism Green Gold Color Field
By Sherron Francis
Located in New York, NY
Sherron Francis Untitled, 1976 Signed and dated on the reverse Acrylic on canvas 52 x 28 inches Artists such as Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Dan Christensen, and Sam Francis a...
Category

1970s Abstract Expressionist Sherron Francis Paintings

Materials

Acrylic, Canvas

"Untitled" Sherron Francis, Female Abstract Expressionism, Blue Red Color Field
By Sherron Francis
Located in New York, NY
Sherron Francis Untitled, 1975 Acrylic on canvas 96 x 66 inches Artists such as Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Dan Christensen, and Sam Francis are already well-known names. How...
Category

1970s Abstract Expressionist Sherron Francis Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Acrylic

"Noble O" Sherron Francis, Female Abstract Expressionism, Black Color Field
By Sherron Francis
Located in New York, NY
Sherron Francis Noble O, 1976 Signed, titled and dated on the reverse Acrylic and mixed media on canvas 57 x 21 inches Artists such as Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Dan Christe...
Category

1970s Abstract Expressionist Sherron Francis Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Acrylic

"Untitled" Sherron Francis, Female Abstract Expressionism, Black Color Field
By Sherron Francis
Located in New York, NY
Sherron Francis Untitled, 1973 Acrylic on canvas 70 x 48 inches Artists such as Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Dan Christensen, and Sam Francis are already well-known names. How...
Category

1970s Abstract Expressionist Sherron Francis Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Acrylic

"Sonic Lark" Sherron Francis, Female Abstract Expressionism, Long Color Field
By Sherron Francis
Located in New York, NY
Sherron Francis Sonic Lark, 1974 Signed, titled and dated on the reverse Acrylic on canvas 24 x 109 1/2 inches Artists such as Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Dan Christensen, an...
Category

1970s Abstract Expressionist Sherron Francis Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Acrylic

"Untitled" Sherron Francis, Female Abstract Expressionism, Red Green Color Field
By Sherron Francis
Located in New York, NY
Sherron Francis Untitled, circa 1975 Acrylic on canvas 90 x 64 inches Artists such as Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Dan Christensen, and Sam Francis are already well-known name...
Category

1970s Abstract Expressionist Sherron Francis Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Acrylic

"Strawberry V" Sherron Francis, Female Abstract Expressionism, Red Color Field
By Sherron Francis
Located in New York, NY
Sherron Francis Strawberry 5, 1977 Signed, titled and dated on the reverse Acrylic and mixed media on canvas 56 1/2 x 22 inches Artists such as Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Da...
Category

1970s Abstract Expressionist Sherron Francis Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Acrylic

"Untitled, " Sherron Francis, Female Abstract Expressionism, White Impasto
By Sherron Francis
Located in New York, NY
SHERRON FRANCIS (AMERICAN, B. 1940) Untitled, 1977 Acrylic on canvas 33 x 27 1/2 inches Signed, titled and dated on the reverse A reappraisal is long ...
Category

1970s Abstract Expressionist Sherron Francis Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Acrylic

"Pete's Neck", Sherron Francis, Female Abstract Expressionist, Beige Color Field
By Sherron Francis
Located in New York, NY
SHERRON FRANCIS (AMERICAN, B. 1940) Pete's Neck, 1981 Acrylic on canvas 34 1/2 x 22 inches Signed, titled and dated on the reverse A reappraisal is lo...
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Sherron Francis Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Acrylic

"Trap Rock, " Sherron Francis, Female Abstract Expressionism, Blue Color Field
By Sherron Francis
Located in New York, NY
SHERRON FRANCIS (AMERICAN, B. 1940) Trap Rock, 1972 Acrylic on canvas 22 3/4 x 16 inches Signed, titled and dated on the reverse A reappraisal is long overdue for the second-generation abstract expressionists. Artists such as Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Dan Christensen, and Sam Francis are already well-known names. However, Sherron Francis, a female artist from the Midwestern United States, exhibited alongside many of these stars, yet has not been the recipient of a major exhibition in nearly 40 years. Francis was born in the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove, Illinois in 1940. She studied fine art at the University of Oklahoma from 1958 to 1960 before transferring to the Kansas City Art Institute for better educational opportunities. At the time, Francis remained loyal to figurative art. Philip Pearlstein, a contemporary artist and visiting professor once remarked at the confidence of Francis’ draftsman abilities. In the early 1960s, art dealers and gallerists from New York would visit the Institute to recruit artists by offering scholarships, but they only offered these scholarships to men. Francis was forced to plead with deans to allow a scholarship for women so that she could continue her studies. She ultimately graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1963. In Missouri, Francis met Dan Christensen (Class of 1964), an artist friend, who would play a key role in her career throughout the next two decades. Francis then received her MFA from the University of Indiana, where she was housemates with Mernet Larsen, before assuming a teaching position at Eastern Michigan University. In 1968, with only $300 on hand, Francis moved to 16 Waverly Place in Soho. At the time, the neighborhood boasted some of the biggest names in abstract expressionism. She quickly became friends with Peter Reginato, Walter Darby Bannard, Michael Steiner, Peter Young, Larry Zox, and Larry Poons, who all lived and worked in the neighborhood. In fact, Francis introduced Larry Poons to his now wife, Paula, a friend and student of Sherron’s. Francis helped to found The Bowery Gallery in 1969 and received her first solo exhibition there in 1970 for her figurative works. After this exhibition, Francis decided to switch to abstraction. By 1971, Christensen, who was exhibiting with Andre Emmerich, introduced Francis to the legendary gallerist. There was no better gallery to be showcasing abstract expressionism and color field painting during this decade for an artist. For example, in 1972, Emmerich held solo exhibitions by art titans, such as Hans Hofmann, Al Held, Esteban Vicente, David Hockney, and Morris Louis. In 1973 alone, Emmerich gave one-person exhibitions to Helen Frankenthaler, Kenneth Noland, Hans Hofmann, Jack Bush and a new discovery: 32-year-old Sherron Francis. The January 27 - February 14 exhibition for Francis was a great success with Peter Schjeldahl commenting in the New York Times: “Francis has…sidestepped the danger of seeming hopelessly derivative of such artists as Mark Rothko, Morris Louis and Helen Frankenthaler —by, it seems to me, the use of a single canny formal device. All her canvases are tall, vertical rectangles. What this shape achieves is a physical presence that supports the paintings' fragile play of color and texture. Bearing roughly the proportions of the human body, but bigger in size, her pictures confront the viewer with a satisfying firmness, inviting delectation.” Francis’s career now took off with the stain paintings. In a 1974 article in Arts Magazine, Whee Kim writes, “She has asserted the credibility of her own answer to the problem of the outer edge of a canvas by limiting her investigations to a singular central image. In her variations on this theme, an intuitive sense of color and touch is given restricted free-play.” Schjeldahl added, “Her paintings, stained and brushed to a suavely grainy texture, each float an area of warm, soft color in a somewhat less‐intensely colored field. The areas are amorphous in shape and closely related, by hue, to the surrounding fields. Her colors run to luxurious brown‐golds, dreamy bluegreens and dusty pinks, though each canvas is alive with a variety of evanescent hues and tints. The goal of her art is to be at once as gorgeous and as delicate as possible: she intends to ravish.” In 1973, Francis exhibited at the Whitney Biennial and then received a second solo exhibition at Emmerich the following year. Corporate collections and private enthusiasts, including Helen Frankenthaler, rushed to purchase her paintings. More than sixty of her paintings sold in one year at Emmerich’s gallery. Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, Francis exhibited at other leading American galleries, including Janie C. Lee Gallery in Houston, Barbara Kornblatt Gallery in Baltimore, Douglas Drake in Kansas City, Rubiner Gallery in Detroit, and Tibor de Nagy Gallery in New York. Francis always marched to the beat to her own drum. Although she admired the works of Jules Olitski, Jack Bush, and Kenneth Noland, Francis never felt that her work and lifestyle were influenced by others. When her friends summered in the...
Category

1970s Abstract Expressionist Sherron Francis Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Acrylic

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Previously Available Items
"Untitled" Sherron Francis, Female Abstract Expressionism, Blue Red Color Field
By Sherron Francis
Located in New York, NY
Sherron Francis Untitled, 1973 Dated on the reverse Acrylic on canvas 70 x 90 inches Artists such as Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Dan Christensen, and Sam Francis are already ...
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1970s Abstract Expressionist Sherron Francis Paintings

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"Nebo" Sherron Francis, Female Abstract Expressionism, Black Color Field
By Sherron Francis
Located in New York, NY
SHERRON FRANCIS (AMERICAN, B. 1940) Nebo, 1973 Acrylic on canvas 53 1/2 x 41 inches Signed, titled and dated on the reverse A reappraisal is long overdue for the second-generation a...
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1970s Abstract Expressionist Sherron Francis Paintings

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"Untitled, " Sherron Francis, Female Abstract Expressionism, Pink Lyrical
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Located in New York, NY
SHERRON FRANCIS (AMERICAN, B. 1940) Untitled, 1979 Acrylic and mixed media on canvas 51 x 27 inches Signed and dated on the reverse A reappraisal is long overdue for the second-gene...
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"Little Regular", Sherron Francis, Female Abstract Expressionist, Color Field
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SHERRON FRANCIS (AMERICAN, B. 1940) Little Regular, 1972 Acrylic on canvas 24 3/4 x 16 inches Signed, titled and dated on the reverse A reappraisal is...
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"Red Peak", Sherron Francis, Female Abstract Expressionist, Lyrical Color Field
By Sherron Francis
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SHERRON FRANCIS (AMERICAN, B. 1940) Red Peak, 1979 Acrylic and mixed media on canvas 37 x 28 inches Signed, titled and dated on the reverse A reappraisal is long overdue for the second-generation abstract expressionists. Artists such as Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Dan Christensen, and Sam Francis are already well-known names. However, Sherron Francis, a female artist from the Midwestern United States, exhibited alongside many of these stars, yet has not been the recipient of a major exhibition in nearly 40 years. Francis was born in the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove, Illinois in 1940. She studied fine art at the University of Oklahoma from 1958 to 1960 before transferring to the Kansas City Art Institute for better educational opportunities. At the time, Francis remained loyal to figurative art. Philip Pearlstein, a contemporary artist and visiting professor once remarked at the confidence of Francis’ draftsman abilities. In the early 1960s, art dealers and gallerists from New York would visit the Institute to recruit artists by offering scholarships, but they only offered these scholarships to men. Francis was forced to plead with deans to allow a scholarship for women so that she could continue her studies. She ultimately graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1963. In Missouri, Francis met Dan Christensen (Class of 1964), an artist friend, who would play a key role in her career throughout the next two decades. Francis then received her MFA from the University of Indiana, where she was housemates with Mernet Larsen, before assuming a teaching position at Eastern Michigan University. In 1968, with only $300 on hand, Francis moved to 16 Waverly Place in Soho. At the time, the neighborhood boasted some of the biggest names in abstract expressionism. She quickly became friends with Peter Reginato, Walter Darby Bannard, Michael Steiner, Peter Young, Larry Zox, and Larry Poons, who all lived and worked in the neighborhood. In fact, Francis introduced Larry Poons to his now wife, Paula, a friend and student of Sherron’s. Francis helped to found The Bowery Gallery in 1969 and received her first solo exhibition there in 1970 for her figurative works. After this exhibition, Francis decided to switch to abstraction. By 1971, Christensen, who was exhibiting with Andre Emmerich, introduced Francis to the legendary gallerist. There was no better gallery to be showcasing abstract expressionism and color field painting during this decade for an artist. For example, in 1972, Emmerich held solo exhibitions by art titans, such as Hans Hofmann, Al Held, Esteban Vicente, David Hockney, and Morris Louis. In 1973 alone, Emmerich gave one-person exhibitions to Helen Frankenthaler, Kenneth Noland, Hans Hofmann, Jack Bush and a new discovery: 32-year-old Sherron Francis. The January 27 - February 14 exhibition for Francis was a great success with Peter Schjeldahl commenting in the New York Times: “Francis has…sidestepped the danger of seeming hopelessly derivative of such artists as Mark Rothko, Morris Louis and Helen Frankenthaler —by, it seems to me, the use of a single canny formal device. All her canvases are tall, vertical rectangles. What this shape achieves is a physical presence that supports the paintings' fragile play of color and texture. Bearing roughly the proportions of the human body, but bigger in size, her pictures confront the viewer with a satisfying firmness, inviting delectation.” Francis’s career now took off with the stain paintings. In a 1974 article in Arts Magazine, Whee Kim writes, “She has asserted the credibility of her own answer to the problem of the outer edge of a canvas by limiting her investigations to a singular central image. In her variations on this theme, an intuitive sense of color and touch is given restricted free-play.” Schjeldahl added, “Her paintings, stained and brushed to a suavely grainy texture, each float an area of warm, soft color in a somewhat less‐intensely colored field. The areas are amorphous in shape and closely related, by hue, to the surrounding fields. Her colors run to luxurious brown‐golds, dreamy bluegreens and dusty pinks, though each canvas is alive with a variety of evanescent hues and tints. The goal of her art is to be at once as gorgeous and as delicate as possible: she intends to ravish.” In 1973, Francis exhibited at the Whitney Biennial and then received a second solo exhibition at Emmerich the following year. Corporate collections and private enthusiasts, including Helen Frankenthaler, rushed to purchase her paintings. More than sixty of her paintings sold in one year at Emmerich’s gallery. Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, Francis exhibited at other leading American galleries, including Janie C. Lee Gallery in Houston, Barbara Kornblatt Gallery in Baltimore, Douglas Drake in Kansas City, Rubiner Gallery in Detroit, and Tibor de Nagy Gallery in New York. Francis always marched to the beat to her own drum. Although she admired the works of Jules Olitski, Jack Bush, and Kenneth Noland, Francis never felt that her work and lifestyle were influenced by others. When her friends summered in the...
Category

1970s Abstract Expressionist Sherron Francis Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Acrylic

"Untitled", Sherron Francis, Female Abstract Expressionist, Muted Color Field
By Sherron Francis
Located in New York, NY
SHERRON FRANCIS (AMERICAN, B. 1940) Untitled, circa 1980 Acrylic on canvas 12 1/2 x 45 inches Signed on the reverse A reappraisal is long overdue for the second-generation abstract ...
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Sherron Francis Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Acrylic

"Untitled A-2", Sherron Francis, 1975, Female Abstract Expressionist
By Sherron Francis
Located in New York, NY
SHERRON FRANCIS (AMERICAN, B. 1940) Untitled A-2, 1975 Acrylic on canvas 12 1/2 x 16 inches Signed, dated and titled on the reverse A reappraisal is long overdue for the second-gene...
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1970s Abstract Expressionist Sherron Francis Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Acrylic

"Befit", Sherron Francis, Female Abstract Expressionist, Purple Color Field
By Sherron Francis
Located in New York, NY
SHERRON FRANCIS (AMERICAN, B. 1940) Befit, 1979 Acrylic and mixed media on canvas 79 x 67 inches Signed, titled and dated on the reverse A reappraisal...
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1970s Abstract Expressionist Sherron Francis Paintings

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Acrylic, Canvas

"Untitled A-1" Sherron Francis, Female Abstract Expressionist, Red Color Field
By Sherron Francis
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SHERRON FRANCIS (AMERICAN, B. 1940) Untitled A-1, 1975 Acrylic on canvas 39 1/2 x 27 1/2 inches Signed on the reverse A reappraisal is long overdue fo...
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"Tideline", Sherron Francis, 1977 Female Abstract Expressionist, Color Field
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SHERRON FRANCIS (AMERICAN, B. 1940) Tideline, 1977 Acrylic on canvas 93 x 45 inches Signed, titled and dated on the reverse A reappraisal is long overdue for the second-generation abstract expressionists. Artists such as Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Dan Christensen, and Sam Francis are already well-known names. However, Sherron Francis, a female artist from the Midwestern United States, exhibited alongside many of these stars, yet has not been the recipient of a major exhibition in nearly 40 years. Francis was born in the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove, Illinois in 1940. She studied fine art at the University of Oklahoma from 1958 to 1960 before transferring to the Kansas City Art Institute for better educational opportunities. At the time, Francis remained loyal to figurative art. Philip Pearlstein, a contemporary artist and visiting professor once remarked at the confidence of Francis’ draftsman abilities. In the early 1960s, art dealers and gallerists from New York would visit the Institute to recruit artists by offering scholarships, but they only offered these scholarships to men. Francis was forced to plead with deans to allow a scholarship for women so that she could continue her studies. She ultimately graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1963. In Missouri, Francis met Dan Christensen (Class of 1964), an artist friend, who would play a key role in her career throughout the next two decades. Francis then received her MFA from the University of Indiana, where she was housemates with Mernet Larsen...
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1970s Abstract Expressionist Sherron Francis Paintings

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"Romantic Nonsense", Sherron Francis, 1979 Female Abstract Expressionist
By Sherron Francis
Located in New York, NY
SHERRON FRANCIS (AMERICAN, B. 1940) Romantic Nonsense, 1979 Acrylic on canvas 71 1/2 x 24 inches Signed, titled and dated on the reverse A reappraisal...
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1970s Abstract Expressionist Sherron Francis Paintings

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"Coosa", Sherron Francis, Female Abstract Expressionist, Periwinkle Color Field
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SHERRON FRANCIS (AMERICAN, B. 1940) Coosa, 1972 Acrylic on canvas 65 1/2 x 44 1/2 inches Signed, titled and dated on the reverse A reappraisal is long overdue for the second-generat...
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Sherron Francis paintings for sale on 1stDibs.

Find a wide variety of authentic Sherron Francis paintings available for sale on 1stDibs. If you’re browsing the collection of paintings to introduce a pop of color in a neutral corner of your living room or bedroom, you can find work that includes elements of blue, purple and other colors. You can also browse by medium to find art by Sherron Francis in acrylic paint, canvas, fabric and more. Much of the original work by this artist or collective was created during the 20th century and is mostly associated with the abstract style. Not every interior allows for large Sherron Francis paintings, so small editions measuring 16 inches across are available. Customers who are interested in this artist might also find the work of Arthur Pinajian, Harriette Joffe, and Ira Barkoff. Sherron Francis paintings prices can differ depending upon medium, time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $4,500 and tops out at $30,000, while the average work can sell for $25,000.

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