Mor­ris Louis


American Fine Art Magazine - - New Acquisition -

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.

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