Francis had wanted to become a physician, but when he dropped out of college to enter the Army Air Corps, fate intervened and his dream of becoming a physician was never realized. During his brief military career, Francis survived a training crash in Arizona but later developed spinal tuberculosis. While recuperating, he began painting. After a few years he recovered and studied painting with David Park. He completed a bachelor?s degree and master?s degree in fine arts and art history from the University of California in Berkeley. After graduating, he moved to Paris like so many other American artists and writers of that period. His first exhibition took place in Paris and was the first of many he would have throughout the world. After living abroad for more than a decade, Francis returned to California and opened his own lithography workshop in 1962. Francis is known for his white backgrounds. This untitled work consists of spontaneous splatters and a linear grid. At first glance this particular grid pattern looks similar to a game of tic tac toe. The black splatters in the background of the formally constructed grid appear nearly translucent.