Morris Louis VAV 1960

Share this artwork

Artwork details

Artist
Morris Louis 1912–1962
Title
VAV
Date 1960
Medium Acrylic paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 2603 x 3594 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Presented by Mr and Mrs H.J. Heinz II through the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1968
Reference
T01057
Not on display

Display caption

In 1953 Louis visited Helen Frankenthaler's studio and was impressed by her experiments with staining the canvas rather than painting on it. He developed this technique in works such as VAV. One of his so-called 'veil' paintings, it was made by pouring very liquid paint down its surface. In applying paint in this way Louis was reacting against Abstract Expressionist painters such as de Kooning and Kline. They had emphasised gestural brushwork as a means of personal expression. By pouring paint, Louis sought to exclude expression because the artist no longer directly controlled the marks which resulted. Also, the stained canvas no longer 'bore' a representative image. Instead it became an object in itself.

September 2004

About this artwork