Martin Sosin, a Santa Monica tax attorney, has donated 18 original Sam Francis art prints to Santa Monica College Library.

“The pieces are beautiful and they make the library a more lively place,” said Mona Martin, dean of learning resources and head librarian.

Some of the prints will be moved to The Madison Project of Santa Monica College, a 541-seat theater currently under construction and scheduled to open in 2007.

Sosin was the business manager and close friend of Francis, an abstract expressionist painter who created most of his work in Santa Monica from 1962 until his death in 1994.

In 2003, Santa Monica College presented the first public showing of some Francis paintings from Sosin’s private collection and the private collections of the Francis family.

“I had always promised Sam Francis I would do everything in my power to expand his legacy as an abstract expressionist,” Sosin said. “The library gives his work wide exposure and Santa Monica College is a premier place to go to school.”

Associated with the abstract expressionist and Clement Greenberg’s post-painterly abstraction movements, Francis was also influenced by French painting and Japanese art.

His early work was related in form to the works of Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still and Mark Rothko.

Later pieces show that he developed his own style.

He was born in San Mateo in 1923 and died in Santa Monica in 1994.

Francis began to paint in 1944, studied art under David Park in 1947 and received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art from the University of California at Berkeley.

Over the years, he worked for long periods in Paris, New York and Tokyo and traveled between homes in Santa Monica, Palo Alto and Point Reyes.

His works are in public and private collections around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris; the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam; and the Idemitsu Museum of Art in Tokyo.

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