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Blue Wave, an abstract expressionist painting in shades of blue by M.K. Hajdin

Blue Wave, by M.K. Hajdin

Clyfford Still, Newly Revealed (Abstract Critical)


Clyfford Still, PH-191, 1951.  Source

Clyfford Still, PH-191, 1951.  Source

A cracking new post about Clyfford Still over at Abstract Critical:

“We should not be surprised then, that many of the best Stills can feel closed in, have dark and earthen tones, and are marked by that ubiquitous “lifeline,” and yet suggest a transcending power and vitality…”

— Ken Carpenter

Click here to read the rest of the post.

Sundays with Clyfford Still: Breaking the Cage (15)

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

This is number 15 in the series. You can read the other posts here.

This week we go back to the early days of Clyfford Still, before his paintings progressed into complete abstraction.

Haunting images from Clyfford Still

Untitled Still from 1936. Photo: Tiffany Weber

A woman old before her time, a death’s head surfacing beneath her skin.  A gaunt male figure is cradled on her lap, almost in a nursing position, but he seems too weary to take any nourishment and she is too empty to provide it. These starveling figures are eerily prophetic in the light of the concentration-camp images that would shock the world only ten years after this picture was painted.

Artists learn how to do art by reproducing what they see around them in a realistic manner.  Once the techniques are mastered, many artists go on to use the techniques that they learned to interpret reality more imaginatively.  Clyfford Still began on this path trod by so many others, but his originality soon surfaced, and drove him to be one of the first artists who abandoned reality altogether and plunged into complete abstraction.   But what drove that process?

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Sundays with Clyfford Still: Sylver Lyning (14)

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

This is number 14  in the series.  You can read the other posts here.

This week we’re looking at the lighter side of Clyfford Still.  We don’t have any evidence that Clyffie himself actually possessed a lighter side,  but a survey of popular culture reveals that one exists – created by other artists with a bit more humor and less paranoia.

 Here is cartoonist Kenny Be’s vision of “Clyfford’s Color Fyeld Gryll”, which unfortunately never came to pass.  Unfortunately, I say, because that “dyppying palette”  looks pretty good.

cartoon by Kenny Be

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Wave Paintings. Seven of them.

Wave Breaking , Morning by Maggi Hambling

Wave Breaking, Morning by Maggi Hambling (credit: artnet.com)

Wave by Maggi Hambling

Wave by Maggi Hambling

I envy this brushwork by Maggi Hambling.  Also the energy and texture.  Go look at her website right now.  (It gives me a bunch of errors but the two paintings I was able to see were totally worth it).  Here’s the wiki about her with some interesting biographical details.

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