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clyfford still | museum
Three photos of artworks displayed indifferent orientations, two photos feature people
L to R: PH-847, 1953. Onnasch collection, photo by Alex Delfanne;
Installation photos of PH-847 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 1974


January 23 – May 3, 2015

Despite Clyfford and Patricia Still’s meticulous cataloguing and photographic documentation of Still’s entire artistic output, there are a few paintings that maintain an air of mystery. Up/Down? is a small-scale exhibition that explores the issue of orientation in Still’s artwork through the examination of several paintings with particularly ambiguous back-stories. In order to fully illustrate the enigmatic nature of each painting, Up/Down? also incorporates key materials from the Clyfford Still Museum Archives that have been invaluable in the Museum’s research of the featured works (such as the letter pictured below).

Installed in the Museum’s central gallery, Up/Down? is surrounded by works from the permanent collection that highlight some of the most exciting discoveries made during the Museum’s first three years and ten special exhibitions. This is the first installation since the Museum’s inaugural exhibition in which the majority of the galleries are dedicated to Still’s masterworks.

Letter from collector Reinhard Onnasch to Patricia Still, dated April 4, 1994