1956 No. 1 (Primary Title)
“The sublime? A paramount consideration in my studies and work from my earliest student days.”—Clyfford Still
While 19th-century landscape painters expressed the sublime’s boundlessness through awe-inspiring depictions of nature, Still invokes it through purely abstract means. Jagged vertical shapes, expanses of color, and richly textures surfaces that seem to stretch beyond the canvas make his paintings dramatic.
To avoid any association with specific subject matter, he titled his works by the year and sequence in which he made them. Although Still maintained a steadfast detachment from the New York art world, he is often linked to the Abstract Expressionists—especially Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman—with whom he shared a belief in the expressive, even visionary, power of abstract forms.
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