Clyfford Still 1904 - 1980 American Abstract Expressionism/ New York School Painters
In 1952, Clyfford Still was introduced to collector and fellow artist, Alfonso Ossorio by their mutual friend Jackson Pollock. In the summers of 1953 and 1955, Still used a large, airy barn on Ossorio's property, The Creeks, as a summer studio. He may have been inspired by the bucolic setting of the fifty-seven-acre estate on Georgica Pond. In terms of both imagery and dimensions, Still’s masterly abstract oils refer to American landscapes. This was a period when the artist, who was raised in Spokane and educated at Washington State College, painted a number of imposing monochromatic canvases whose scale and character have much in common with works by Pollock and other New York School artists collected by Ossorio. The friendship and admiration between Still and Ossorio (the latter in fact owned seven paintings by Still; several were purchased outright, and several were acquired in exchange for Still’s use of the summer studio) had by 1957 so deteriorated that Still destroyed one of the canvases rather than have it remain at The Creeks. One day that year Still, accompanied by his wife, took a train to East Hampton and then a cab to The Creeks. While Patricia Still talked to Ossorio by the hired car, her husband entered the house and cut out a section of one of his paintings. Grace Hartigan, a guest that summer, told an interviewer in 1969 that Still dropped pieces of canvas throughout the house as if he were Hansel and Gretel dropping crumbs along a path.