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Clyfford Still
1946–H (Indian Red and Black)
1946
oil
78 1/4 x 68 3/8 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase from the Vincent Melzac Collection through the Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program



The painting's crusty surface evokes a sense of the earth as rugged and rich. The color black used so effectively here had special significance for Clyfford Still: "Black was never a color of death or terror. I think of it as warm and generative." The work's title strikes a documentary note; Still named his paintings by year and letters of the alphabet to indicate the order in which they were made.