Partition by Morris Louis

Partition
1962
Color Field Painting
Acrylic paint on canvas
Tate Modern, London, UK

‘Partition’ is one of Louis’ Stripe series, all of which were painted in the last months of his life. The works were part of the artists interest in the optical effects of colour relationships at the same time his simplification of non-representational form to extremes. The Stripe works illustrate Louis’ increasingly stripped-down approach to composition and form. Highly systemic and devoid of the artist’s own expressive gestures, the Stripe canvases consist of streams of paint running in tight parallel groupings of narrow bands of colour. These late works of Louis’ emphasize the most basic geometry of straight lines and point the way towards the Minimalist school of the 1960s and 1970s.

Morris Louis
Color Field Painting, Post-Painterly Abstraction, Washington Color School
Born: 28 November 1912, Maryland, USA
Nationality: American
Died: 7 September 1962, Washington DC, USA

Louis was one of the leading artists in Colour Field painting, along with his contemporaries Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler. In a short prolific career Louis continually experimented with method and medium, manipulating large canvases in creative wats to control the flow and stain of paint. His maturity of style, characterized by layered veils and rivulets of poured acrylic paint on untreated canvases, make his paintings among the most iconic works of Colour Field painting.

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