Sundays with Clyfford Still: The Golden Cord (9)

Welcome to Sundays With Clyfford Still.  I’m your host, M.K. Hajdin.

This is number 9  in the series.  You can read the other posts here.

It’s Easter, which in most religions is about celebrating new life.  Let’s hear what Clyfford had to say on the subject:

Clyfford Still painting white with yellow streaks

Untitled by Clyfford Still (late 1970s)

These are not paintings in the usual sense; they are life and death merging in fearful union. As for me, they kindle a fire; through them I breathe again, hold a golden cord, find my own revelation.

— Clyfford Still

On a blinding white background flame spirits leap and flicker and cool as they sink toward the bottom of the painting.

Clyfford Still painting

The same painting in context

I am reminded of a lyric from, of all sources, Duran Duran. I’m going to quote it, too, because this is my blog and you can’t stop me.


And fiery demons all dance when you walk through that door

Don’t say you’re easy on me; you’re about as easy as a nuclear war

— Duran Duran,  “Is There Something I Should Know?


Given what we know of Clyffie’s fiercely independent, tightly wound personality, it seems appropriate.

Do you get a strange kick out of looking at the personal belongings of famous people?  I know I do.  Here’s a look at Clyffie’s painting smock which is hanging in the Clyfford Still Museum.  I think somebody washed it after he last wore it, but didn’t iron it.  It looks like it’s been folded.

Clyfford Still's painting smock

Clyfford Still's painting smock

Check out Jack A. Atkinson’s excellent blog for a review of the opening of the Clyfford Still museum, with many good photographs, including the photo of Clyffie’s smock above.

“…I hunched down and tried to decide which of the two works I was looking at was my favorite. They both had a lot of energy, violence even, and that attracted me.”

— Jason’s Travels  has an interesting take on the Clyfford Still Museum.  Do read it.

Questions? Comments? You can reply to me in the box below, or tweet on Twitter with the hashtag #clyffordlove.

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