Thursday, October 6, 2011

MORRIS LOUIS

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When I came across this dress earlier this season, I immediately recognized its affinity to Color Field painting.
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Morris Louis (1912-1962) was the key proponent of the Washington Color School movement, a branch of mid-century Abstract Expressionism.

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After experiencing the work of Helen Frankenthaler in New York, Louis embarked on his own exploration of color field painting in Washington, DC.

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Louis, along with Kenneth Noland and others, established a school of painting which championed the broad expanse of color achieved by pouring thinned paint onto an unprimed canvas. [View my Noland post here.]

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Louis worked with Magna paint, an oil-based acrylic, which was specially developed for him by paintmaker colleagues.

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The work of the Washington Color School is characterized by all-over composition, and broad fields of transparent, dripped, organically-spreading paint.
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The group of works shown here cover all or most of the canvas, in contrast with his well-known Unfurleds, which simplified what it meant for a painting to be complete.


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The color veils of Louis's work speak to the underlying spirituality of painting as a process, and remove the hand of the painter from act of painting.

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I'm wearing a silk dress by Presley Skye, vintage leather boots, and self-made earrings.

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[Louis images from picasaweb.google.com, abstract-art.com, kimmco.typepad.com, and nycmagnet.wordpress.com, respectively.]


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