Clyfford Still

American, 1904-1980

1949-M

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

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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.

1949-M, 1949

Artwork Details

Materials

oil on canvas

Measurements

support: 93 x 69 1/2 inches (236.22 x 176.53 cm)

Collection Buffalo AKG Art Museum

Credit

Gift of the artist, 1964

Accession ID

1964:5.20

Clyfford Still’s paintings have been compared to bodies or living organisms. In PH-266 (1949-M), Still’s use of color gives the impression that the jagged salmon, burgundy, and fawn-colored forms have only revealed themselves after a painstaking process of tearing and violent rupture.

While Still dismissed such figurative readings of his painting, he believed they each possessed an inner life or spark. In a letter written after his 1959 exhibition in Buffalo, Still recalled, “One problem we had was the tendency of the museum people to over-light all of my paints. . . . my last instruction to [museum director] Mr. Smith was, ‘You can turn the lights out. The paintings will carry their own fire.’”

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

Abstract Expressionism