Clyfford Still

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Clyfford Still Painting (1957)


Clyfford E. Still (1904 – 1980)

Clyfford Still was an American artist who also lived part of his life in Canada. He is generally described as an Abstract Expressionist artist.

A native of North Dakota, Still was born in Grandin. His family were agriculturalists and he spent his childhood in both Spokane, Washington and Alberta, Canada in the winters and summers, respectively. Clyfford Still studied at the Art Students League in New York City in 1928, briefly, before deciding that the institution was by and for the wealthy and not to his liking.

His education was undertaken at Spokane University. Clyfford Still taught in the Washington State University system, becoming an instructor at the Pullman campus in 1933.

He is known for both landscape and figurist paintings, often in large formats. During the Second World War, Clyfford Still moved to California to work in the shipyards and meanwhile established an art studio in Berkeley. He became closely associated with the Bay Area Art scene and was credited with being one of the painters who gave rise to the popularity of Abstract Expressionism.

Clyfford E. Still had his first solo exhibition in California at the California Palace Legion of Honor. For many of his peers, it was the first time they’d seen his work.