New York

Morris Louis

Andre Emmerich Gallery

In the ongoing at tempts to chronicle the work of the late Morris Louis, a whole range of critics and historians seem to have fixed on a characterization of his sensibility as fin de siecle. In one of the first articles to categorize Louis’s art in this way, Robert Rosenblum speaks of the “languid, expansive beauty that newly evokes the exquisite hothouse atmosphere of the most precious Art Nouveau gardens,” (Art International VII, December 1963) and moves from this association to a reading of the paintings themselves (works from the period 1958–60) totally by means of romantic, vitalist metaphors. The pictures are like butterfly wings or quartz deposits or giant gaseous flames; they move toward the “elemental landscape” that Mr. Rosenblum sees in the late works of Turner and Monet and which he characterizes as symbolist. This initial association between the color veils of Louis and those

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