new-york

Morris Louis

Andre Emmerich Gallery

Clement Greenberg––the catalog merely identifies him as “a friend of the artist”––purportedly was reminded of the following passage from Ulysses on first seeing this group of paintings in Morris Louis’s studio toward the end of 1958: “Near bronze from anear near gold from afar . . .” Whether or not this bit of apocrypha is true is quite beside the point––pertinent is, however, the aptness of the literary tag “Bronze Veils” in so justly conveying the character of these works. The evolution of Morris Louis’s painting suggests that, in 1958, he may have felt a lack of structural or tectonic strength in his painting. The Bronze Veils were preceded by airily colored, fountainlike curtains, a color and type to which, on completion of the works under consideration, he would again return. Like so many other motifs in Louis’s painting they form a distinct coloristic, if not iconic, subset. By the

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