Clyfford Still

American, 1904-1980

1941-2-C

© City and County of Denver / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

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© City and County of Denver / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© City and County of Denver / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

1941-2-C, 1941-1942

Artwork Details

Materials

oil on canvas

Measurements

support: 42 3/4 x 32 1/2 inches (108.59 x 82.55 cm); framed: 45 1/8 x 34 3/4 x 2 5/8 inches (114.6175 x 88.265 x 6.6675 cm)

Collection Buffalo AKG Art Museum

Credit

Gift of the artist, 1964

Accession ID

1964:5.2

As early as 1941, when most of his peers were still making figurative or semi-figurative paintings, Clyfford Still created this nearly monochromatic black canvas. PH-154 (1941-2-C) is one of scores of predominantly black works he would paint over the course of his career. While Still was not the only Abstract Expressionist to extensively use black, his mastery of it was nevertheless extraordinary.

Still’s layered black and near-black tones are enveloping and provocative, charged with drama. He rejected the common interpretation of black as a somber tone that lacked the dynamism or energy of brightly colored abstractions, and he famously said, “Black was never a color of death or terror for me. I think of it as warm—and generative. But color is what you choose to make it.”

Label from Shade: Clyfford Still / Mark Bradford, May 26–October 2, 2016

Abstract Expressionism