Morris Louis, Faces, 1959, acrylic, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase from the Vincent Melzac Collection through the Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program, 1980.5.5
The veil refers not only to the translucent layers of paint but to the texture of the canvas that melds with the colors, creating an illusion of diaphanous folds of cloth. In 1959, however, the "illusion" of anything was scorned by many in the art world who insisted that painting should be purely abstract and only about the act of painting. Powerful critics and gallery owners ignored the poetic titles and organic forms in Louis’s canvases. Instead, they celebrated his work because the washes of color revealed the properties of the paint and recorded the artist’s movements as he poured.
Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2006
- On View
- Not on view.
911/4 x 136 in. (231.8 x 345.5 cm.)
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Smithsonian American Art Museum
Museum purchase from the Vincent Melzac Collection through the Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program
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