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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

PH-338 (1949-No.2)

Photo: Spike Mafford / Zocalo Studios. Courtesy of the Friday Foundation

PH-338 (1949-No.2)


Clyfford Still

American, 1904-1980

With its expanses of color and textured surface, PH-338 evidences Clyfford Still’s mature style. Still lived in Eastern Washington and California until 1950, and there is a rugged quality to the works from this period, hinting at such environments; however, the lack of horizon line, persistent brushwork, and pure color maintain its grounding as an abstraction. Painted while Still was living and teaching in San Francisco, the all-over quality of the composition makes PH-338 a towering artistic proposal in the late 1940s—a time when many of his contemporaries were still exploring the full potential of abstraction in relation to scale.
Oil on canvas
91 1/2 × 68 3/4 in. (232.5 × 174.5 cm)
Gift of the Friday Foundation in honor of Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis
Provenance: The artist; [Betty Parsons Gallery, New York]; Mr. and Mrs. Ben Heller, New York, New York, 1956; Mr. and Mrs. Milton Fischman, St. Louis, Missouri; [Dayton’s Gallery, Minneapolis, Minnesota]; purchased from gallery by Jane and Richard Lang, Seattle, Washington, 1973
Photo: Spike Mafford / Zocalo Studios. Courtesy of the Friday Foundation
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistoryNew York, New York, Betty Parsons Gallery, Clyfford Still, Apr. 17 - May 6, 1950.

San Francisco, California, Metart Galleries, Paintings by Clyfford Still, June 17 - July 14, 1950.

New York, New York, Museum of Modern Art, The New American Painting, As Shown in Eight European Countries, 1958-1959, organized by the International Program of the Museum of Modern Art, under the auspices of the International Council at the Museum of Modern Art (Basel, Switzerland, Kunsthalle, Apr. 19 - May 26, 1958; Milan, Italy, Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna, June 1 - 29, 1958; Madrid, Spain, Museo Nacional de Arte Contemporáneo, July 16 - Aug. 10, 1958; Berlin, Germany, Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Sept. 1 - Oct. 1, 1958; Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Stedelijk Museum, Oct. 17 - Nov. 24, 1958; Brussels, Belgium, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Dec. 6, 1958 - Jan. 4, 1959; Paris, France, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Jan. 16 - Feb. 15, 1959; London, England, Tate Gallery, Feb. 24 – Mar. 23, 1959). Cat. no. 68 (as Number 2), reproduced in color p. 77.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, The Richard and Jane Lang Collection, Feb. 2 - Apr. 1, 1984. Text by Bruce Guenther and Barbara Johns. Cat. no. 43, pp. 58-59.

Washington, D.C., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Clyfford Still: Paintings, 1944-1960, June 20 - Sept 16, 2001.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, SAM at 75: Building a Collection for Seattle, May 5 - Sept. 9, 2007.

Denver, Colorado, Clyfford Still Museum, Repeat/Recreate:Clyfford Still's 'Replicas', Sept. 18, 2015 - Jan. 10, 2016. Text by Neal Benezra and David Amfam. Cat. no. 21, reproduced.
Published ReferencesHess, Thomas B. "U.S. Painting, Some Recent Directions," Art News, Annual Christmas Edition, 1955: p. 76.

Brion, Marcel, Sam Hunter, et al. "Art Since 1945." New York: Abrams, 1958: p. 315, reproduced pl. 152.

Sawyer, Kenneth B. “U.S. Painters Today: Clyfford Still.” Portfolio and ARTnews Annual, no. 2 (1960). Reproduced p. 83 (as Number 2).

Hunter, Sam. American Art of the 20th Century. New York: Abrams, 1972: p. 204, reproduced pl. 374.

Arnason, H.H. History of Modern Art: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Photography, second edition. New York: Abrams and Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1977. Reproduced pl. 214, pp. 515, 532.

O'Neill, John P., ed. Clyfford Still. New York: Abrams, 1979: p. 78.

Arneson, H.H. History of Modern Art: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Photography, third edition, revised and updated by Daniel Wheeler. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc, 1986. Reproduced p. 404.

A Community of Collectors: 75th Anniversary Gifts to the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle: Seattle Art Museum and University of Washington Press, 2008. Reproduced p. 34.

Cohen-Solal, Annie, et al. New York Mid-Century 1945-1965: Art, Architecture, Design, Dance, Theater, Nightlife. New York: The Vendome Press, 2014. Reproduced p. 47.

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