Sam Francis (1923–1994) was an influential and important abstract expressionist, included (with James Brooks, Franz Kline, Larry Rivers and Philip Guston) in the landmark 12 Americans exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1956. Prolific and bold in his use of color and form, Francis had solo exhibtions at important galleries in Paris, New York and London during the next three years, and at the Pasadena Art Museum, California traveling to the San Francisco Museum of Art and the Seattle Art Museum in 1959. Exhibitions followed in Switzerland, Sweden, Germany and Japan, and his first retrospective was presented by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the San Francisco Museum of Art in 1967. Influenced by Clyfford Styll and Mark Rothko, Francis developed a unique style and an individual approach to color that has made his work among the most highly collected abstraction in the world.