Clyfford Still

American, 1904–1980

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Clyfford Still

American, 1904–1980

2,133
Followers
Biography

Clyfford Still is celebrated as one of the original innovators of abstract expressionism, primarily because he fused the two predominant painting styles of the radical postwar movement—gestural (championed by Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock) and color field (established by Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko). Originally born in North Dakota, Still began spending time in New York in the 1940s and subsequently exhibited with the two galleries that first championed abstract painting: Art of This Century and Betty Parsons. In 1951 Still famously cut ties with the commercial art world and many of his fellow artists, vowing to only exhibit his paintings in museums and institutions. Today, nearly 95 percent of Still’s work, most of which is dated between 1951 and the year of his death in 1980, is housed in the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver, Colorado. Perhaps shedding light on his reclusive leanings and his commitment to psychologically driven abstract painting, Still once said of his work, “These are not paintings in the usual sense, they are life and death, merging in fearful union.”

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 8 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 3 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition
Biography

Clyfford Still is celebrated as one of the original innovators of abstract expressionism, primarily because he fused the two predominant painting styles of the radical postwar movement—gestural (championed by Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock) and color field (established by Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko). Originally born in North Dakota, Still began spending time in New York in the 1940s and subsequently exhibited with the two galleries that first championed abstract painting: Art of This Century and Betty Parsons. In 1951 Still famously cut ties with the commercial art world and many of his fellow artists, vowing to only exhibit his paintings in museums and institutions. Today, nearly 95 percent of Still’s work, most of which is dated between 1951 and the year of his death in 1980, is housed in the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver, Colorado. Perhaps shedding light on his reclusive leanings and his commitment to psychologically driven abstract painting, Still once said of his work, “These are not paintings in the usual sense, they are life and death, merging in fearful union.”

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 8 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 3 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition
Shows Featuring Clyfford Still
Articles Featuring Clyfford Still
How Clyfford Still Took Control of the Market for His Work
Dec 30th, 2019
Abstract Expressionist Titans Drive Sales at Sotheby’s Contemporary Auction
Nov 15th, 2019
Abstract Expressionism
Jan 2nd, 2018
How the Clyfford Still Museum Has Overcome the Artist’s Strict Regulations to Shape His Legacy
Nov 8th, 2016
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