Hans Hartung and Sam Francis chose to live in Paris — the cradle of the great artistic currents of the Avant-Garde. In the capital of «Art Informel», Hans Hartung asserted himself against the formalist pictorial traditions and naturally turned towards lyrical rather than geometrical abstraction. Sam Francis arrived in Paris in 1950 thanks to the G.I. Bill, a study grant which allowed him to travel to discover European painting.
Both artists met with their first success in Paris during the post-war years. Hans Hartung had an exhibition at the Lydia Conti gallery in 1947, one of the legendary venues of lyrical abstraction, finally receiving recognition. A few years later, in 1952, Sam Francis met with immediate and international acclaim following a first solo exhibition at the Nina Dausset gallery. Despite being well-known by the important figures of the School of Paris such as Michel Tapié or Paul Facchetti, and although they mingled with the same artists’ groups and galleries, these two great masters of post-war abstraction never had the opportunity to exhibit together.