Map showing location of this gallery in the Museum

New York City

In 1950, Still began an eleven-year sojourn in New York City. By withdrawing his work from public exhibition and sale the following year, Still strove to take control over how his art was seen. With this liberation from the mainstream art world came a renewed sense of artistic clarity and drive. Still executed almost the exact same number of canvases as works on paper (roughly 280) during his time in New York, demonstrating the pivotal role drawing continued to play in his visualization and working processes.

With the exception of a few watercolors, Still’s works on paper from this time are almost all done in pastel, a medium familiar to him from his youth in Alberta, and one that intensifies the immediacy of markmaking, surface materiality, and dramatic color that characterize his canvases from this period. Though a few pastels from this phase relate directly to later paintings (PP-136, for example, is a study for a painting created nearly twenty years later), most of them are independent explorations of form and composition.

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1950s_pwx13_regester2016_web
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1950s_pwx10_regester2016_web
1950_pp187_regester2014_web
1951_pp188_regester2014_web
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1951_pp336_1_regester2015_web
1952_pp104_regester2014_web
1952_pp131_regester2014_web
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1954_pp201_regester2014_web
1954_pp278_regester2016_web
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1955_pp252_regester2014_web
1956_pp145_regester2016_web
1956_pp148_1_regester2015_web
1956_pp15_regester2014_web
1956_pp155_regester2016_web
1957_pp136_regester2015_web
1958_pp101_regester2014_web
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1958_pp216_regester2014_web
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1959_pp115_regester2013_web
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Memory Pastels

Four pastels in the exhibition, titled by Still Memory, are from a series of seven drawings that Still created in 1968, the year his father died. Four small graphite sketches found in a stack of his early, undocumented works have a clear connection to the later Memory drawings: one imagines Still having the nostalgic urge to re-create the scenes as an homage to the Alberta landscape and farm scenes that pervaded his youth. At the same time, the concise, lyrical tone of the later work illustrates how Still’s artistic vision had evolved since he first recorded the moments as a young man.

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1968_pp234_regester2014_web
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Citation Information

Chicago

David Anfam, Bailey H. Placzek, Dean Sobel. “New York City.” In Clyfford Still: The Works on Paper. Denver: Clyfford Still Museum Research Center, 2016. http://pubs.clyffordstillmuseum.org/worksonpaper/new-york-city/.

MLA

Anfam, David, et al. “New York City.” Clyfford Still: The Works on Paper. Denver: Clyfford Still Museum Research Center, 2016. 1 Nov. 2016 <http://pubs.clyffordstillmuseum.org/worksonpaper/new-york-city/>.