PRINT December 2014

Sarah K. Rich

WHEN PEOPLE THINK of Morris Louis’s Veils, they often think of the popular painting Tet, 1958, and for good reason. Tet, which resides in the collection at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, is a gorgeous thing. Its delicate rivulets of paint recall Hellenistic drapery. Its exuberant gush of blues traffics in pleasures akin to those of Niagara. But this exhibition at Mnuchin Gallery, in which Tet joins eight other Veils taken from private collections, reveals the Whitney’s painting to be more exception than rule. As it should: In general, the Veils are dark, weird, and more interesting than the frilly gratifications of Tet might suggest. That Mnuchin conveyed the full gamut of the series’ peculiarities with just nine paintings is no small achievement. Louis produced nearly one hundred and thirty of them (more, if you count a similar series of works that Louis had made four

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