It is often thought that Louis’s striped paintings were inspired by the paintings of Barnett Newman, whom he admired and with whom he shared an exhibition in 1958. In contrast to the complexity and rich emotion of Louis’s previous work, the striped paintings evince a straightforwardness that heralds Minimalism.
Inscription: Signed and dated (on reverse, lower right): M Louis—61; signed, dated, and inscribed (on stretcher): MORRIS LOUIS "PUNGENT DISTANCES" '61
[Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York, until 1962; sold on May 25, 1962 to Newman]; Muriel Kallis Newman, Chicago (1962–2006; her gift to MMA)
New York. André Emmerich Gallery. "Morris Louis," 1961, no catalogue.
Art Institute of Chicago. "22nd Annual Exhibition of the Society for Contemporary Art," April 24–May 18, 1962, checklist no. 28.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "An American Choice: The Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Collection," May 21–September 27, 1981, unnumbered cat. (p. 101).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Abstract Expressionism and Other Modern Works: The Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 17, 2007–February 3, 2008, extended to March 2, 2008, no. 58.
Eleanor Page. "She Lives in an Art Museum." Chicago Tribune (September 13, 1964), sec. 5, ill. p. 3.
Alice Hess. "Great Private Collections: A Chicago Visionary." Saturday Review 7 (October 1980), p. 72, ill. p. 73.
Grace Glueck. "Met Is Given a $12 Million Art Collection." New York Times (December 10, 1980), p. B7.
Hilton Kramer. "Modernist Show Moves Met Firmly into Art of 20th Century." New York Times (May 22, 1981), p. C21.
Diane Upright. Morris Louis, the Complete Paintings: A Catalogue Raisonné. New York, 1985, p. 226, no. 429, ill. p. 172.
William Agee. "Muriel Kallis Newman–Life Among the Moderns." Architectural Digest (December 1986), p. 70.
David Anfam inAbstract Expressionism and Other Modern Works: The Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ed. Gary Tinterow, Lisa Mintz Messinger, and Nan Rosenthal. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 187–89, no. 58, ill. (color).