Unsatisfactory Clyfford Still blogging
Mrs. R.'s workplace threw a holiday party at the SF MOMA. Tres classy. After dinner (ending with small exquisite bread pudding squares) we got docented around the painting galleries. I soon went off on my own, because dammit I want to make up my own mind before getting the official line. One of the works that arrested me was by Clyfford Still, another cantankerous abstract expressionist I was unfamiliar with, in this case in part because his will insists all his unsold work (90% of the total) be exhibited together in a gallery designed to his specifications. The piece in question (see here, and understand the post title) is at first glance entirely black, with an almost tarry impasto surface. One then notices a slit of red decending the painting slightly to the right of center, as if the black had been plastered on over the red but not quite thickly enough. I was enthralled, but then noticed that the lower left corner had been slapdashedly painted red. Suddenly the piece stopped being interesting. I would sneer in Still's general direction if it wasn't too late.