Still, Clyfford


Still, Clyfford
born Nov. 30, 1904, Grandin, N.D., U.S.
died June 23, 1980, Baltimore, Md.

U.S. painter.

He studied at Spokane University and Washington State College. After experimenting with several styles, he became involved in Abstract Expressionism and was a pioneer of very large, monochromatic painting. His work is often characterized within the "colour-field" subset of Abstract Expressionism. He used thickly applied, opaque paint (impasto) in expressively modulated, jagged forms to portray raw, aggressive power.

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▪ American artist
born Nov. 30, 1904, Grandin, N.D., U.S.
died June 23, 1980, Baltimore, Md.

      American artist who is sometimes considered the first of the Abstract Expressionists (Abstract Expressionism). Still painted large abstract canvases meant to evoke the mystery of human existence through pure colour and form. Like many other Abstract Expressionists, Still saw the act of painting as a heroic assertion of being and freedom in an age still recovering from the impact of World War II (1939–45).

      Still was interested in art even as a child. While in high school, he was awarded an art scholarship to Spokane University in Washington, from which he graduated in 1933. His style had evolved from a type of regionalism to a presentation of a Western landscape that was dominated by gigantic figures and enigmatic rock formations. Gradually the pictorial elements in his pictures became more abstract, although they always retained their organic shapes and colours. After eight years of teaching at Washington State College (now Washington State University) in Pullman, Still moved to California, where he worked in the shipbuilding and aircraft industries during the war years. He taught at the Richmond (Va.) Professional Institute (now Virginia Commonwealth University) in 1943–45 and lived for a year in New York City. Returning to California in 1946, he taught at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute), where he stayed until 1950. He lived again for a time in New York City and in 1961 acquired a 22-acre (9-hectare) farm near Westminster, Md., where he kept a studio until his death.

      Still's mature paintings from the late 1940s on consist of interlocking jagged shapes in a dense, much-worked surface that he applied with a palette knife. He gradually increased the size of the shapes and also the size of his canvases, intending the large indeterminate space of the picture to envelop viewers in a field of sublime sensation. Still was interested in conveying awe before the unknowable—the sublime—that so many artists throughout history have sought to evoke. His work influenced many artists, including Jackson Pollock (Pollock, Jackson), Mark Rothko (Rothko, Mark), and Barnett Newman (Newman, Barnett), as well as other colour-field painters (colour-field painting).

      Distrustful of dealers, collectors, and curators, Still bequeathed only two bodies of work—one to the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo in 1964 and the other to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1975. In his will, he stipulated that the remainder of his estate, which constituted more than 2,000 works at his death, would be available to the public in any American city that devoted a museum exclusively to his art. The city of Denver eventually accepted the challenge, and the Clyfford Still Museum was scheduled to open there in 2010, 30 years after Still's death.

Additional Reading
Michael Auping (ed.), Abstract Expressionism: The Critical Developments (1987); Stephen Polcari, Abstract Expressionism and the Modern Experience (1991), and “The Intellectual Roots of Abstract Expressionism: Clyfford Still,” in Art International, 25:18–35 (May–June 1982); Thomas Kellein (ed.), Clyfford Still, 1904–1980: The Buffalo and San Francisco Collections (1992), an exhibition catalog; James T. Demetrion (ed.), Clyfford Still: Paintings, 1944–1960 (2001), an exhibition catalog.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Still, Clyfford — (30 nov. 1904, Grandin, N.D., EE.UU.–23 jun. 1980, Baltimore, Md.). Pintor estadounidense. Estudió en la Universidad de Spokane, y en el Washington State College. Luego de experimentar con varios estilos, se vinculó al expresionismo abstracto, y… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Clyfford Still — Clyfford Still, 1957 D No. 1, 1957, oil on canvas, 113 x 159 in, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York Born November 30, 1904(1904 11 30) …   Wikipedia

  • STILL (C.) — STILL CLYFFORD (1904 1980) «Dramaturge qui cultive le contraste le plus entier», ainsi Barbara Rose, dans L’Art américain depuis 1900 (Bruxelles, 1969), définit elle le peintre américain Clyfford Still. Au sein de l’expressionnisme abstrait… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • still — still1 /stil/, adj., stiller, stillest, n., adv., conj., v. adj. 1. remaining in place or at rest; motionless; stationary: to stand still. 2. free from sound or noise, as a place or persons; silent: to keep still about a matter. 3. subdued or low …   Universalium

  • Still — /stil/, n. 1. Andrew Taylor, 1828 1917, U.S. founder of osteopathy. 2. William Grant, 1895 1978, U.S. composer. * * * (as used in expressions) Still Clyfford Still William Grant still life painting * * * …   Universalium

  • Clyfford Still — (* 30. November 1904 in Grandin, North Dakota; † 23. Juni 1980 in New York) war ein US amerikanischer Maler. Er wird der Stilrichtung des Abstrakten Expressionismus zugeordnet. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Biographie und Werk 2 Museum …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Clyfford Still — (30 de noviembre de 1904 23 de junio de 1980) fue un artista estadounidense, pintor, y además una figura destacada del Expresionismo abstracto. Nació en la ciudad de Grandin, Dakota del Norte, Estados Unidos. A fines de la década de 1920 y… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Still — steht für Ortsnamen: die Gemeinde Still im Elsass, siehe Still (Bas Rhin) die Katastralgemeinde Still (Gemeinde Hofkirchen), Oberösterreich den Familiennamen folgender Personen: Andrew Taylor Still, (1828–1917), Begründer der Osteopathie Clyfford …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Clyfford Still — Clifford Still Naissance 30 novembre 1904 grandin, Etats Unis Décès 23 juin 1980 (à 75 ans) Profession Peintre Clyfford Still est un peintre américain, né le …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Still (disambiguation) — A still is an apparatus used to distill miscible or immiscible liquid mixtures.Still may also refer to:* Film still, a photograph taken on the set of a film or television show and used for promotional purposes * Still, Bas Rhin, Alsace, France *… …   Wikipedia


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