Not on View

Untitled Number 189

Photo Credit: Rich Sanders, Des Moines

Untitled Number 189

Artist: Morris Louis (American, 1912 - 1962)
Date: 1958
Medium: Acrylic on canvas
Canvas (image): 98 × 132 in. (248.9 × 335.3 cm.)
Credit Line: Des Moines Art Center Permanent Collections; Purchased with funds from the Gardner and Florence Call Cowles Foundation, 1972.2
Accession number: 1972.2
Classification: painting
In Collection(s)
Label Text Louis’ painting technique was inspired by Helen Frankenthaler, whose work can be seen in this same gallery. She practiced a method of staining washes of oil paint directly onto raw canvas, more similar to dyed cloth than paint on a surface. Louis began pouring thin layers of paint onto horizontal canvases, then tilting them up to control the streams of color. This natural flow of paint created colorful waves, dependent on gravity and without the interference of a brush. The resulting works he called “Veils” because of the fan-like patterns and sheer layers of color. This painting’s yellow tones suggest flame or glowing energy. July 22, 2020
Morris Louis was born in Baltimore and lived in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., area nearly all of his life. He studied at the Maryland Institute of Fine aand Applied Arts on a four-year scholarship and during the following years taught privately. Source: Bulletin, March-April 1972.
SignedM Louis #189 (verso c,l)
Exhibition History"The Abstract Tradition in American Art," Des Moines Art Center, Dec. 7, 1991 - Feb. 23, 1992

"Morris Louis: The Complete Paintings," organized by The Museum of Modern Art, N.Y., Oct. 1, 1986 - Jan. 4, 1987; (circulated to: Fort Worth Art Museum, Texas, Feb. 15 - Apr. 12, 1987; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., May 20 - July 26, 1987)

"In Quest of Excellence," Center for the Fine Arts, Miami, FL, Jan. 14 - Apr. 22, 1984

"Morris Louis: The Veil Cylce," Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Feb. 6- Mar. 27, 1977; (circulated to: Denver Art Museum, Apr. 15 - May 29, 1977; Fort Worth Art Museum, June 19 - July 31, 1977; Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, N.Y., Sept. 11 - Oct. 23, 1977; Baltimore Museum of Art, Nov. 29, 1977 - Jan. 22, 1978)

"25 Years of American Painting: 1948 - 1973," Des Moines Art Center, Mar. 6 - Apr. 22, 1973

"Morris Louis Veils," Lawrence Rubin Gallery, N.Y., Oct. 26 - Nov. 10, 1971

"Morris Louis 1912-1962," Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Feb. 15-Mar. 26, 1967, circulated to: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Apr. 13- May 24, 1967; (also circulated to the City Art Museum of St. Louis, the Des Moines Art Center's painting was not included in this exhibition)

"Morris Louis Memorial Exhibition - Paintings from 1954-1960," Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, N.Y., Sept. - Oct. 1963
Catalogue Raisonné"Morris Louis: The Complete Paintings," organized by The Museum of Modern Art, N.Y., catalogue raisonne by Diane Upright, published by Harry N. Abrams, Inc., N.Y., 1985, cat. ref. no. 174, p. 207, colorplate listing no. 81, p. 5, color illus. p. 81.
Published References"Morris Louis: The Veil Cycle," Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 1977, exh. cat. no.16, color ill. p.15

"25 Years of American Painting: 1948 - 1973," Des Moines Art Center, 1973, exh. cat. no.25, color ill.

"In Quest of Excellence," Center for the Fine Arts, Miami, FL, 1984, exh. cat. no.194, ref. p.96, color ill. p.88

"Morris Louis 1912 - 1962," Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1967, exh. cat. no.23, color ill. p.47

"Morris Louis Memorial Exhibition - Paintings from 1954 - 1960," Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, N. Y., 1963, exh. cat. no.6, color ill.

ART QUARTERLY, Autumn 1972, ref. p.323

Max Kozloff, "American Painting During the Cold War," ARTFORUM, " May 1973, ill. p.48

DES MOINES SUNDAY REGISTER, PICTURE MAGAZINE, article by Nick Baldwin, Apr. 23, 1972, pp.20 - 21, color ill.

DMAC Bulletin, Mar./Apr. 1972, cover ill.

Michael Fried, MORRIS LOUIS, Harry N. Abrams, N.Y., 1971, color ill. pl. no.74

Diane Upright, MORRIS LOUIS: THE COMPLETE PAINTINGS, catalogue raisonné, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., N. Y., 1985, exh. cat. ref. no.174, p.207, color pl. listing no.81, p.5, color ill. p.81

DES MOINES ART CENTER: SELECTED PAINTINGS, SCULPTURES AND WORKS ON PAPER, Des Moines Art Center, 1985, ref. pp.143 & 144, color ill. pl.XVI, p.112

Daniel Robbins, "Morris Louis at the Juncture of Two Traditions," QUANDRUM, XVIII, 1965, pp.41 - 54, repro. p. 45

AN UNCOMMON VISION: THE DES MOINES ART CENTER, Des Moines Art Center, 1998, ref. p.175, color ill. p.174

"Morris Louis Now: An American Master Revisited", High Museum of Art, Atlanta, 2006, color ill. pg.15

"Color As Field: American Painting 1950-1975", American Federation of Arts and Yale University Press, 2007, plate no. 16

Diane Upright, "Morris Louis: The Complete Paintings", Harry Abrams, Inc., 2012, color ill. pg.81
entirely unexpected