clyfford still

by Grace Bonney

We’ve got an awfully big case of “white wall syndrome” in our new office, so I’ve been thinking about artwork a lot lately. Sadly my favorite pieces tend to fall way outside my budget, but I still like to window shop the web as if I had a trust fund at my disposal. As inspired as I am by the amazing contemporary artists working in Brooklyn these days, I find my mind drifting back in time to¬†Abstract Expressionists. I’m not sure if it’s a desire to see something less perfect and precious or just a belated embracing of a bolder style that I could never fully understand when I was younger, but the work of Clyfford Still has been gracing my desktop for months now.

Still was an American painter who did the majority of his work on the West Coast, unlike so many of the Abstract Expressionists who gravitated to New York City. His pieces have so much life and energy and passion that it’s impossible not to imagine how inspiring seeing something like this at work every day would be. I’m pretty sure that day will never come for me, so until then, I’m going to fawn over these images like a weirdo and hope to visit the Still Museum the next time I’m in Denver. If you happen to be in Denver, please go for me and let me live vicariously through your tweets, tumbles and Instagrams.

More images of Still’s work continue after the jump . . .

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  • It would be amazing to have an office with one feature wall like this as I think this sort of work , works very well on a big scale.. mm not sure you can get one of the artists in your building to do an ” Hommage ” to Still wall in the new D*S abode ?? :-)

  • Yay DENVER shout out! The museum is small – however a very interesting viewing of his works progression. He was right to believe his work should be viewed in its entirety.

  • I recently went to a Howard Hodgkin show at Gagosian and felt so energized by the abstraction, shapes and colors, but I haven’t thought about Clyfford Still in a long time! somehow the natural, textural look of his work does seem so perfect for today’s spaces…I’m happy he has his own dedicated museum. : )

  • If you are looking for something that fits your budget and something Abstract, I could have something you like at the price you like. I’m an emerging abstract exp. artist in Toronto Canada. I am in a month long show (Jan 3-28) called ‘True Colours’ at Twist Gallery on Queen Street West (the hub of the art industry in Toronto). My website is http://www.leannelangpaintings.com. Check it out! I love Still’s work too, it’s really beautiful.

  • That’s so funny… I just went to the Hirshhorn in D.C. last week, and a couple of his paintings really made an impression on me. The colors are beautiful!

  • I went with friends opening day and it was an amazing experience! I am in love with his work and the museum is perfect for displaying his work. Thanks for a post on one of my favorite artists!

  • The west coast expressionists are my favorite too! My very favorite is Richard Diebenkorn. My husband loves Still best, so we debate about which one is better
    LOL and I laugh because it is totally subjective. We also love De Kooning!
    I got to work with Nathan Oliveira who was great friends with Diebenkorn
    and that was really an amazing experience! He died just last year, I had talked
    to him the spring before..what a loss!

  • I’m so proud that my design firm, McGinty, designed the museum’s signage and a lot of their printed pieces! Clyfford Still was an intriguing man and an amazing outstanding artist. Get ye to Denver soon, Grace!

  • It’s right down the street from me so I need to go see this. I’m sure it’s getting overwhelming attention right now after some crazy lady here pee’d on and scratched a piece. UGH…one person has to try to ruin it for the rest of us Coloradans! The nerve…….

  • I love abstract art, and against white walls, its soul really comes through so strongly. Maybe it’s the colors the first attract the eye. Stunning pieces! I had not heard of Still before…I like the Scandinavian “classic modern” abstracts but these are striking!

  • I live four blocks away from the museum and have already been a countless number of times – I really need to get my membership. That place is literally one of my favorite places in existence. And the de Kooning exhibit at MoMa is equally as swoony.

  • I had a chance to see some of his works in Toronto recently.
    His original artwork in front of my eyes blew me away, not just colour and composition, but the texture and the play with surrounding light made his work so alive. I just couldn’t get enough, now, I need to see his brand new museum in Denver!!

  • One of my favorite styles of art…check out auctions as there are many great pieces from the 60s to be found…especially if you’re open minded about the provenance of the piece…

  • Ooh I love Still! One of my favorites. Those rooms at the Met that hold his work (and maybe a Motherwell and Pollack?) are so stunning! A New York favorite spot for me.

  • I like to visit the gallery of Still’s work at SFMOMA. Still took pains to control the context of display surrounding his work. At SFMOMA, an agreement made upon his 1975 gift of twenty-eight paintings to the museum included establishing a permanent gallery for his work alone. When you enter, you’re surrounded on all sides by swaths of color that tower above you. It’s a great place for quietly pausing to get overwhelmed by something grand.

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