Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Clyfford Still

Clyfford Still would disapprove of my posting an image of one of his paintings -- Untitled (PH-118) from 1947 in this case -- on my blog, but there it is.

Still hated the commercial side of art. Henry T. Hopkins, who interviewed the artist in the 60s, told the New York Times:
When you visited him, you weren’t allowed to take a tape recorder or a notebook. You were just supposed to listen. He served you one cup of coffee, no seconds. He was like an avenging Protestant minister coming out of the barren lands of the Dakotas to the wicked city. But his railing against the commercialism of the art world even back then was meant to cut a path through a lot of nonsense, and he was true to that all his life.
In a New York Times article last Sunday (from which Hopkins is quoted), Steven Henry Madoff writes:
He insulted and abandoned old friends — Mark Rothko among them — for any whiff of complicity with pure commerce or consuming neediness. He called galleries and museums “gas chambers.” He made grandiose pronouncements like “These are not paintings in the usual sense; they are life and death merging in fearful union.” He described himself as a Puritan.
His will dictated that, as Madoff describes, "His estate could be bequeathed only to an American city, one that would build a museum to serve as a temple to his art and to nothing else. No works could ever be sold. No other artist could ever show a single piece alongside his. All Clyfford Still, all the time."

That city, finally, 30 years after the artist's death, is to be Denver. It wasn't easy to fulfill that last request. The Clyfford Still Museum is planning to open in 2009.



Blogger leinenkluegel said...

this is great! thank jesus for crazy artists. there is a good piece on karl lagerfeld in the newyorker this week. and...can you track blog hits from other planets? just wondering.
and finally...are you the splasher????? hmmm...

9:56 AM  

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