拍品 16
  • 16

莫里士·路易斯

估價
1,000,000 - 1,500,000 USD
已售出
招標截止

描述

  • Morris Louis
  • 《拉姆達II》
  • 款識:藝術家簽姓名縮寫並題款 Lambda 兩次(背面)
  • Magna 壓克力彩畫布
  • 102 3/4 x 142 英寸;261 x 360.7 公分
  • 1960年作
signed with the artists initials, and inscribed Lambada twice on the reverse
oil on canvas
261 by 360.7cm.
Executed in 1960.

來源

Estate of the Artist (Estate no. ML 3-14)
Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York
Acquired by the present owner from the above in 2001

展覽

New York, Andre Emmerich Gallery, Morris Louis: Major Works, September 1985, cat. no. 10, n. p., illustrated in color
New York, Andre Emmerich Gallery, Variations on a Theme - 1960, February - March 1995
Münster, Westfälisches Landesmuseum; Grenoble, Musée de Grenoble, Morris Louis, May - December 1996, p. 84, illustrated in color and illustrated in color on the cover
Los Angeles, Manny Silverman Gallery, Morris Louis: Six Paintings from 1958-1962, January - February 2001, illustrated in color on the cover
New York, Paul Kasmin Gallery, Morris Louis, November 2001, p. 27, illustrated in color, p. 10 (text) and illustrated in color on the front and back cover

出版

Diane Upright, Morris Louis: The Complete Paintings: A Catalogue Raisonné, New York, 1985, cat. no. 334, p. 105, illustrated in color and cat. no. 334, p. 163, illustrated in color
Michel Gautheir, "La diagonale du fond," Les Cahiers du Musée National d'Art Moderne, 60, Summer 1997, p. 59 (text)
"In the Galleries," The New Yorker, November 5, 2001, p. 18 (text)


拍品資料及來源

Engulfing the viewer in the immense scale of its prismatic surface, Morris Louis’ Lambda II encapsulates through sheer pulchritude Louis’ mastery over his medium. The present work is one of the first of a series of paintings the artist titled Unfurleds, executed primarily between June and July of 1960. Incomparably virtuosic and brilliantly prolific, Louis produced no less than three major series of paintings between 1958 and 1962—the Veils, Unfurleds, and Stripes—an astoundingly coherent sequence of innovations in abstraction of which the Unfurleds are widely considered the painter’s crowning achievement. Both Diane Upright and Clement Greenberg, to name just two of the artist’s greatest champions and scholars, consider 1960 the annus mirabilis of Louis’ entire oeuvre—at the age of 47, it was in the summer of this year that Louis inaugurated the Unfurleds. The direct companion painting to the present work, Lambda, is in the collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, while many comparable examples of Louis’ Unfurled paintings from the same year as the present work belong to important international museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Dallas Museum of Art; and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. among others. Diane Upright praised the painter's output in the catalogue raisonnné: “The Unfurleds present his most audacious, innovative pictorial strategy. According to [Clement] Greenberg, Louis believed this series to be his greatest achievement… The overwhelming impact of this series stems as much from its simplicity of composition as from the complexity of its effect. The basic pictorial components are readily described: two triangular zones of color rivulets confront each other across a huge center wedge of intensely white, unpainted canvas. With the directness and seeming inevitability so often characteristic of masterpieces, the Unfurleds provided Louis with the ideal framework in which to exploit his urge toward active draftsmanship and colorism without sacrificing structural coherence, a problem that had long preoccupied him.” (Diane Upright, Morris Louis: The Complete Paintings: A Catalogue Raisonné, New York, 1985, p. 22)

Nearly symmetrical bands of color pour sensuously like ribbons from the upper margins of the vast eight-and-a-half by twelve-foot canvas; the cascading rivulets of brilliant hues surround a swelling void of raw canvas at the center of the composition. Freezing in time the aesthetic revelation of the work’s own creation, Lambda II displays a sense of controlled precision and inherent structural logic concomitant with a distinctly Cageian sense of chance. The mirrored tides of color are conversant with one another, poised in a kinetic equilibrium in which both poles press inward and outward, toward and away from the magnetically charged vacuum compressed between them. Sensational in its unprecedented clarity of color and spatial understanding, Louis’ streams of Magna paint form fluid currents across the picture’s vast surface; teeming with activity, the pigment breathes life into the very fibers of its support through a remarkably simplified economy of form. Upon its exhibition in 2001, Klaus Kertess praised Lambda II:  “The canvas’ almost twelve feet of length stretches the fused structure into the viewer’s peripheral vision and heightens the lush, slow motion flicker of the pours… In every way, Lambda II achieves stunning elegance. Color and gestural drawing unite in clear units of radiant procedural clarity and supple visual seduction.” (Klaus Kertess in Exh. Cat., New York, Paul Kasmin Gallery, Morris Louis, 2001, p. 10)

Prior to the inception of the Unfurled paintings in the late summer/early fall of 1960, Louis had ordered canvas only 10 or 20 yards at one time; following the commercial success of the preceding Veil paintings, increased critical attention, and newfound representation by the Andre Emmerich gallery, Louis was able to purchase wider quantities of canvas than ever before, and new, more expensive formulas of paint that radically contributed to the development of this groundbreaking new series of monumental pictures. Taking advantage of his improved finances, Louis began to use a higher grade of cotton duct material, a canvas whose superior porousness allowed the paint to permeate the canvas quickly, producing the crisp contours so vital to most of the Unfurled series; armed with 16 gallons of Bocour’s new formula of Magna paint, whose increased viscosity (akin to maple syrup) was far more amenable to Louis’ intentions, the artist was able to finally realize the most mature, sharp articulation of his staining technique. Louis never mixed his paints, rather choosing to pour the pure hues directly from their container; the only blending of color arose from the occasional bleeding and overlapping at the edges of his pours. Exhibiting incredible control, confidence, and painterly audacity, Louis’ new materials allowed him to tightly guide and regulate the flow of paint across vast lengths of canvas while making sure that neighboring rivulets of paint would meet along their trajectories only where he intended. Even where the Magna overlaps at the base of Lambda II, the hues do not blend—each pour remains an autonomous, clearly articulated and contoured field of color.

In April 1953, Louis—along with good friend and fellow Color Field painter Kenneth Noland, and renowned art critic Clement Greenberg—visited Helen Frankenthaler’s studio to view her masterpiece painting, Mountain and Sea. Struck particularly by Frankenthaler’s ability to confuse depth and flatness through staining very thin pigment on to unprimed canvas, Louis was deeply moved and inspired by the ethereal pools of transparent color that he saw there. It was also in this same month that Greenberg not only acquainted Louis with Franz Kline, but also introduced him to the paintings of Jackson Pollock. Witnessing the expansive scale and pure openness of these works catalyzed the direction for Louis’ new artistic expression, leading him to destroy most of the paintings he had produced that year. Louis then began a journey both artistically and practically that would define his own truth as an artist, painter, and independent visionary. Lambda II stands indisputably at the climax of Louis’ explorations in abstraction, uniting with great aplomb the gestural control of Kline’s vigorous angular brushwork, the expressionist action of Jackson Pollock’s drip and pour, and the sublime stained color fields of Frankenthaler.  

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