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Clyfford Still

Todd Powelson
1951-T, No. 2

One thing is for certain, I need to get out to Denver as soon possible. I’ve spent a whole lot of time there and have always enjoyed myself, but the main reason for my future trip is to visit the recently opened Clyfford Still Museum.

1948 – C

I’ve spent a good amount of time standing in front of Still’s very large paintings, and seeing these copies of his work makes me feel all sentimental about their beauty. Of course, looking at Clyfford Still’s work isn’t the same here online as it is in person, but I still like to see these digital reproductions.

Untitled – 1956

Still’s paintings are often huge, almost overwhelming. The fields of color are full of texture and subtle variations in tone and shade. The way he painted made it feel like the colors went even further than what is seen, beyond the canvas’ border. It almost seems as though his paintings and their colors stretch out to infinity, as if the canvas can’t contain it all. So beautiful, I think Clyfford Still’s body of work is an example of Abstract Expressionism at it’s best.

Untitled – 1959

Clyfford Still started his painting career in the Northwest and San Francisco, and later moved to New York. He eventually removed himself from New York’s art community and would sell his work to a very select few buyers. Clyfford Still ended up keeping most of his work himself and, after his death, his widow announced that she would donate her whole collection of over 800 paintings and 1,500 drawings to any city that would provide a good home for the artwork. Denver built the Clyfford Still Museum, and the door’s opened this fall.

I’m not interested in illustrating my time. A man’s ‘time’ limits him, it does not truly liberate him. Our age – it is of science – of mechanism – of power and death. I see no virtue in adding to its mammoth arrogance the compliment of graphic homage.
I never wanted color to be color. I never wanted texture to be texture, or images to become shapes. I wanted them all to fuse into a living spirit.
– Clyfford Still
1957 D, No. 1

Todd Powelson
Todd Powelson works as a Graphic Designer, Illustrator, and Visual Artist.

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