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Louis died in 1962. In his final phase of activity he extended the pouring technique developed in 'VAV' and 'Alpha-Phi' (both in this room). 'Partition' belongs to the 'stripes' series, executed shortly before Louis's death. In these works Louis allowed rivulets of colour to run in parallel 'open-ended' lines. This rigid parallel arrangement is an even more radical attempt to extinguish all traces of 'expressiveness'. The insistence on the lack of a representational image is also demonstrated by Louis's willingness for this painting to be hung either vertically or horizontally. The inertia of the image, and its denial of any meaning, both assert the prime importance of the painting's surface qualities.

September 2004