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Clyfford Still Museum Director Dean Sobel speaking at the Clyfford Still Museum

Clyfford Still Museum Director Dean Sobel speaking at the Clyfford Still Museum. Image courtesy of the Clyfford Still Museum.

Talk: Who Is Clyfford Still and Why Does He Matter?

Thursday, September 8, 2016 ● 6 pm


Photograph of Clyfford Still
Clyfford Still (American, 1904–1980). Image courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Digital Assets Collection and Archives, Buffalo, New York.

Though Clyfford Still is well-known in Buffalo through his thirty-three paintings in the Albright-Knox's collection, he is perhaps the least understood figure among the first generation of Abstract Expressionists. Fiercely independent and highly critical of the trappings of the art world, Still forged a path that often left him on the sidelines of art history—even though he was one of the most original innovators of the movement that defined American art of the postwar period. By the time of his death in 1980, Still retained a staggering ninety-five percent of his career production, which amounted to around 3,200 works. Still’s creative genius and contributions have come into sharper focus since the 2011 opening of the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver, Colorado, which now houses the art and archives of the Still Estate.

In this lecture, Clyfford Still Museum Director Dean Sobel will trace the artist’s art and life from its beginnings in the prairies of Washington state and Alberta, Canada, to his arrival in New York in 1950 and his last years in rural Maryland.

The talk is presented in conjunction with the special exhibition Shade: Clyfford Still / Mark Bradford, on view at the Albright-Knox through October 2, 2016. It will travel to the Denver Art Museum and the Clyfford Still Museum and will be on view in both venues from April 9 to July 16, 2017.

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