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Sam Francis
Blue Balls
1960
oil
90 3/4 x 78 3/4 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc.



An admirer of the psychoanalyst Carl Jung, Sam Francis believed that blue expressed darkness and speculation, as well as the unconscious. When a Japanese critic proposed "Blue Balls" as this painting's title, Francis embraced the phrase for its suggestive connotations.