The relationship between Still’s paintings and drawings has been one of the most enlightening discoveries made in the Museum’s first years. Usually withheld from his lifetime exhibitions, almost no one saw Still’s drawings prior to the Museum’s opening. Even his penultimate exhibition, presented at the Metropolitan Museum of Art shortly before his death, did not include any of Still’s more than 2,000 works on paper.
This exhibition, the first to unite Still’s works on paper with those on canvas, examines the role between his paintings and their closely related drawings. Ultimately, this exhibition reveals the processes Still used throughout his career to arrive at his unique images and ideas.
The richness of the Clyfford Still Museum Archives is also apparent in this exhibition. Small, annotated drawings of human skulls and bones found within an anatomy book undoubtedly played a role in Still’s paintings and drawings of the 1930s. Various archival Still photographs of farm machinery and other agrarian themes, which also became prominent subjects in his 1930s paintings, are featured as well.
Curated by Dean Sobel and David Anfam