About this artwork
In the late 1940s Clyfford Still, along with Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko, originated the type of Abstract Expressionism known as color-field painting, a term used to describe very large canvases dominated by monumental expanses of intense, homogeneous color. Like most of Still’s mature work, Untitled is a sheer wall of paint, imposing and self-sustaining, that makes no concessions to conventional notions of beauty or pictorial illusionism. This painting’s textural effects give it an insistent, complex materiality. Dominated by blacks applied with both a trowel and brushes, the surface is by turns reflective and chalky, granular and smooth, feathery and leaden. These variegated black surfaces are even more emphatic because their continuity is broken by areas of blank canvas and white paint. Like veins in igneous rock, streaks of orange, yellow, and green paint are embedded in the black voids. Mediating between the light and dark masses are areas of crimson, heightened at the edges, as if inflamed, by bright orange.
- Clyfford Still
- United States (Artist's nationality)
- Oil on canvas
- 290.2 × 406.4 cm (114 1/4 × 160 in.)
- Mr. and Mrs. Frank G. Logan Purchase Prize Fund; Roy J. and Frances R. Friedman Endowment; through prior gift of Mrs. Henry C. Woods; gift of Lannan Foundation
- © 2018 City & County of Denver, Courtesy Clyfford Still Museum / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York