Both Sotheby’s and Christie’s will have striking Sam Francis works on offer this May as the houses seek to attract buyers by rotating the market into undervalued names. A second generation Abstract Expressionist formerly seen as a California artist, Francis’s work has been gaining market traction. In 2010, his work “Middle Blue” made $6.35m at Christie’s. Three years ago, Sotheby’s sold a work on paper for $1.14m.
Now both houses are back in the Sam Francis game. Summer #1, 1957 at Sotheby’s is estimated at between $8 and $12m. Getting a sum anywhere near that low estimate would be a record for the artist. Achieving a price at or above the high would double Francis’s best showing.