Morris Louis

Morris Louis (1912-1962) trained at the Maryland Institute of Fine and Applied Art in Baltimore from 1927 until 1932. After living in New York from 1936-40, Louis moved back to Baltimore. At Washington Workshop Center of the Arts, Washingotn,D.C., he befriended fellow teacher Kenneth Noland who taught there from 1952-56. The two artists, together with Clemet Greenberg, visited Helen Frankenthaler’s New York studio in 1953. While there they saw her seminal Mountains and Sea, 1952. From that point on, Louis abandoned Cubism and began staining his canvases. He created a series of paintings called Veils between 1954 and 1959. In his Unfurleds series of 1959-61, Louis framed an open space by pouring diagonal stripes of color from the edges of the canvas. With the exception of Alpha and Delta, the majority of Louis’ paintings were titled after his death in 1962. A retrospective exhibition of Morris’ work was held at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, in 1967. This was followed by exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., in 1976 and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1986. A catalogue raisonné of Morris’ paintings was published in 1985.