Morris Louis

American, 1912–1962

1.6k followers

Morris Louis

Bio

American, 1912–1962

Followers
1.6k
Biography

Known for his vivid “stain” paintings, Morris Louis was an American Abstract Expressionist and color field painter. Rather than adopt the gestural and painterly style of contemporaries Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock, Louis instead took to pouring diluted paint directly onto the canvas, letting pigments soak into the support in brightly colored bands. He often left large areas of the canvas untouched, with the negative space playing a significant role in his work, as in Gamma Omicron (1960); his initial inspiration for this method is said to come from a visit to the studio of Helen Frankenthaler, a pioneering stain painter. Working in the wake of Abstract Expressionism, Louis was part of the transitional movement dubbed Post-Painterly Abstraction by the influential critic Clement Greenberg; living in Washington D.C., he also joined the artistic group known as the Washington Color School.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Auction
High auction record
$6m, Christie's, 2018
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 9 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 4 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 2 more
Biography

Known for his vivid “stain” paintings, Morris Louis was an American Abstract Expressionist and color field painter. Rather than adopt the gestural and painterly style of contemporaries Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock, Louis instead took to pouring diluted paint directly onto the canvas, letting pigments soak into the support in brightly colored bands. He often left large areas of the canvas untouched, with the negative space playing a significant role in his work, as in Gamma Omicron (1960); his initial inspiration for this method is said to come from a visit to the studio of Helen Frankenthaler, a pioneering stain painter. Working in the wake of Abstract Expressionism, Louis was part of the transitional movement dubbed Post-Painterly Abstraction by the influential critic Clement Greenberg; living in Washington D.C., he also joined the artistic group known as the Washington Color School.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Auction
High auction record
$6m, Christie's, 2018
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 9 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 4 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 2 more
Articles Featuring Morris Louis
How Innovations in Paint Fueled a Movement in Abstract Color
May 26th, 2015
How Innovations in Paint Fueled a Movement in Abstract Color
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