A Realization of Clyfford Still

Clyfford Still, PH-945, 1946, oil on canvas, 53.5 x 43 inches (courtesy of the C
Clyfford Still, PH-945, 1946, oil on canvas, 53.5 x 43 inches (courtesy of the Clyfford Still Art Museum. © City and County of Denver)

Anne Sassoon reconsiders the work of painter Clyfford Still.

Sassoon writes: "Like the best painting from cave art onwards, Still’s work is as alive and raw as if made today. His characteristic lightning shapes are a bit like the flashes that follow on the heels of Superman. They direct the eye, they activate the composition; actually they are the composition. They suggest a rip or wound in the skin of the paint, something damaged or hurt, while at the same time opening a window of light and color in the otherwise emptiness or murky impasto of the canvas. Still must have gone through countless gallons of black. Either pessimistically or optimistically, the rips and flashes seem to reveal an intimacy and vulnerability, creating a touching counterpoint to the bravado and strong ego that the work communicates — if you are open to being touched by it."