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Quality in Louis

DESPITE THE GROWING ACKNOWLEDGMENT of Morris Louis as one of America’s greatest painters, certain questions regarding his work have not been widely discussed. Among these are exact reasons for the superiority of Louis’ paintings, the oddness that the oeuvre, although relatively large, was produced during a period of four or five years, the criteria for distinguishing relative quality in Louis’ work, and why his work appears to belong, not with the stain painting of the ‘60s to which it is technically related, but with the work of the first generation of the New York School.

The more I think of it, the more clearly Louis appears to me as Pollock’s successor. Not that Louis inherited Pollock’s style, but that Louis appears now the only painter who created a synthesis as complete and complex as Pollock’s drip paintings. That he did so by resolving the questions Pollock had posed for himself

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