Clyfford Still American

Not on view

Still was among the earliest artists associated with Abstract Expressionism to embrace completely nonrepresentational painting. As this dark composition suggests, his style of color-field painting typically features craggy overlapping and interlocking forms that appear engaged in tense relationships that crackle with visual energy. The vertically oriented painting towers over the viewer, intending to inspire awe, or perhaps dread. Inky black expanses seem to gather like storm clouds and block out the light. The artist interpreted his work in grand, existential terms, saying, "These are not paintings in the usual sense; they are life and death merging in fearful union."

1950-E, Clyfford Still (American, Grandin, North Dakota 1904–1980 Baltimore, Maryland), Oil on canvas

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