Issue Date: March 11, 2010
City: Buffalo, NY
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut
Clyfford Still – 1948-C
Concerning his art, Clyfford Still (1904-80) said, “I never wanted color to be color. I never wanted texture to be texture, or images to become shapes. I wanted them all to fuse together into a living spirit.” As one of the first Abstract Expressionists, Still achieved his goal by creating large, expansive works using color and texture in unusual ways to give his works a life of their own.
Raised in Washington and Canada, Still had an early appreciation for art, and much of his art reflected the vast open landscapes of his childhood. Studying the works of Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso, and William Blake profoundly impacted his artistic style. Early in his career, Still was an influential art professor in California before settling in New York. He was one of the first artists of his time to move away from the Surrealist style and focus on abstract art.
Embracing the abstract style, Still created works such as 1948-C, featuring jagged forms applied thickly in oil onto the canvas surrounded by large, even color fields. Still’s focus in all his works was to convey the struggle between the human spirit and nature. This was represented by contrasting paint applications, often through color field painting (large areas of flat, solid color). Still is highly regarded as one of the first artists to embrace abstraction and color field painting.