How Innovations in Paint Fueled the Washington Color School Movement
The Art Genome Project
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.
American, 1912-1962, Baltimore, Maryland, based in Washington, D.C.