Why Clyfford Still’s art stayed hidden for 30 years

Painter finally set to take his place alongside Rothko, Pollock and other abstract expressionist pioneers.

Following his death in 1980 all the works by Abstract Expressionist painter Clyfford Still that had not previously been shown or exhibited were immediately put into storage and sealed off from public view. They have remained under lock and key for the past 30 years – one of the most closely guarded secrets in the art world. Until now. In the heart of Denver Colorado now stands the Clyfford Still Museum which opened its doors last month, finally allowing the world to see the 825 paintings and 1575 works on paper (amounting to 94 per cent of the artist’s total output) produced by an artist who Jackson Pollock considered to be one of the three men (along with Mark Rothko and himself, of course) responsible for changing the very nature of painting.

David Anfam – “Still, perhaps like no other artist, gives me an instant high”!


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