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Clyfford Still Museum

Clyfford Still: The Works on Paper

Clyfford Still: The Works on Paper

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On the heels of the groundbreaking exhibition Oct 14, 2016 – Jan 15, 2017 featuring Still's works on paper, this catalog demonstrates the importance of these works in the artist's oeuvre and to his process. 

Clyfford Still: The Works on Paper was the first exhibition ever devoted exclusively to Still’s graphic art. This exhibition of some 260 works and related programs reveal the centrality of drawing within Still’s life-long creative process and challenge prevailing assumptions about Still’s place in art history. More broadly, this project offers a unique opportunity for the public to view a vital, missing element in our understanding of abstract expressionism and a key period in America’s cultural history. Guests to The Works on Paper can visit the DRAWING Room, a hands-on gallery that features drawing activities, artist demonstrations, and a community-created art installation located centrally within the exhibition.

The sheer volume (more than 2,300) and variety of Still’s works on paper attest to the significant role draftsmanship played in his art, particularly when compared to his abstract expressionist contemporaries. Still explored graphite, charcoal, pastel, crayon, pen and ink, oil paint, gouache, and tempera, as well as lithography, etching, woodcut, and silkscreen. The exhibition explicates the interplay between his drawings and paintings. In some cases, paintings grew directly out of sketches or more finished drawings. In others, the opposite was true, underscoring that his works on paper were not preparatory steps but fully realized pieces in themselves. The artist felt a strong, private connection to his works on paper. In a 1978 letter to the art collector and gallerist Sidney Janis, Still described his pastels as “a visual diary of a personal world.”

Wonderful color images with text by Patricia Failing with Dean Sobel, David Anfam and Bailey H. Placzek.

Catalog is 8.5" x 11" 

149 pages

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