In front of the canvas, Still expresses his inner world beyond the influence of time. His thick paint is thoroughly reworked like a sculpture including extra thickness and scars until the color balance and the texture match the feeling that the artist wishes to express.
Like Mondrian, Still refuses that the vision is limited by the frame : he will influence Pollock. Like no one before him in abstract art, Still removes the line to provide to the viewer an almost organic vision of the transitions between colors : Monet was on that trend at the end of his career, and Still will influence Rothko. Like Malevich, Still considers that the artwork must be self-sufficient.
Clyfford Still is decidedly a man of the West. In his period of greatest creativity, from 1946 to 1950, he taught art in San Francisco. His return to New York will cause lasting quarrels with the art market and with the other artists. This pioneer who had everything to become the top abstract artist of his time isolated himself and refused the exhibitions.
He was reluctant to sell his art. At his death 2400 works were bequeathed to his family with the formal instructions to only entrust them to a place that will accept to devote an exclusive museum to him. The widow is quite logically looking for a solution in the West. Denver brilliantly accepts this challenge.
Before the opening of the Clyfford Still Museum, four paintings are released to the art market, creating an intense interest due to the extreme rarity of the masterpieces of this artist at auction. Sotheby's sells them on November 9, 2011. 1947-Y-No.2, 177 x 150 cm, fetches $ 31,5M including premium and 1949-A-No.1, 236 x 200 cm, $ 61,7M including premium.
On May 10 in New York, Christie's sells PH-234, oil on canvas 175 x 151 cm painted in 1948, estimated $ 25M, lot 28B.
SOLD for $ 28M including premium