NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART
Arare early painting by Morris Louis was acquired by the National Gallery of Art at the board of trustees meeting in October 2017. It was brought into the collection alongside two bound volumes by Giovanni Francesco Costa, a 1928 drawing by Stuart Davis, and a handcrafted album by ringl + pit.
Earl A. Powell III, director of the National Gallery of Art, comments, “We are delighted with the acquisition of these important works by Morris Louis, Giovanni Francesco Costa, Stuart Davis and ringl + pit, among others. We are grateful as well to our many donors whose generosity continues to strengthen the gallery’s collection.” The 1948 work by Louis, titled Sub-marine, is one of very few of his early paintings still existing today. After he developed his signature staining technique in 1953, Louis destroyed most of his previous work. Sub-marine, which was purchased using funds from the Howard and Roberta Ahmanson Fund, will join six other paintings by the artist currently in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, including Country House, which is an even earlier work that is from the Corcoran Collection.
Sub-marine is an important example from Louis, who later went on to become one of the most lyrical artists of the Washington Color School movement.
Morris Louis (1912-1962), Sub-marine, 1948. Oil on canvas, 22¼ x 35½ in. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Howard and Roberta Ahmanson Fund.