About This Artwork

Morris Louis
American, 1912-1962

Earth, 1959

Acrylic on canvas
233.7 x 350.5 cm (92 x 138 3/4 in.)

Grant J. Pick Purchase Fund, 1969.246

Morris Louis lived and worked in and aroundWashington, D.C., where he was relatively isolated from developments in the New York art world. The goal of his art, in which color is both the vehicle and the content, was to realize the complete fusion of foreground and background, hue and texture. Louis’s saturated stripes and misty veils of color were achieved through a careful process of staining sheets of raw canvas, hung from vertical scaffolding, with thin washes of plastic-based paints. The artist allowed the paint to move over the canvas, guiding its flow with the curves of the loose canvas and a cloth-covered stick. Epic in size, Earth is part of the series Bronze Veils, paintings that Louis inverted after they were completed so that the paint appears to flow from bottom to top.

Interpretive Resources

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