Morris Louis

Number 99, 1959-1960

  • Sale
  • $12.00 L4472pf

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© 2023 Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Rights Administered by Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York, All Rights Reserved.

About the Artist

Morris Louis (born Nov. 24, 1912, Baltimore, Md., U.S. — died Sept. 7, 1962, Washington, D.C.) was an American painter. He studied painting at the Maryland Institute and worked as an easel painter for the WPA Federal Art Project. Inspired by Helen Frankenthaler's colour stain technique, in 1954 he began a series of paintings titled Veils, featuring stained vertical waves of colour; these works had an impersonal, nonpainterly quality. During this period he became associated with the New York school of Abstract Expressionism. His later work featured diagonal parallel streams of colour that flowed across the bottom corners of the picture plane. In his last series, Stripes, bunched, straight vertical bands of colour are surrounded by empty canvas. Morris Louis was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1962 and soon after, died at his home in Washington, D.C., on September 7, 1962. The cause of his illness was attributed to prolonged exposure to paint vapours.