Morris Louis

Ackermans Fine Art

Morris LouisAmerican, 1912-1962

Morris Louis was born in 1912.  He studied art at the Maryland Institute of Fine and Applied Arts.  He lived in New York for a few years and worked for the Works Progress Administration Federal Art Project.  He returned to Maryland in 1940 and began using a new paint created for him called Magna paint.  It was a special oil based acrylic paint.

By the 1950s, Morris Louis had moved to Washington D.C. Along with other artists friends, Louis developed Color Field painting. This style of painting used large areas of raw canvas with solid planes of fluid paint.  It had an expressive and psychological affect on the work with flat, intense color and repetitive patterns.

After a visit to Helen Frankenthaler’s New York studio, Morris Louis began to experiment with his technique by applying very diluted paint to an unprimed, unstretched canvas. He tilted the surface to allow the color to flow over the raw surface and sometimes creating translucent color veils. These became his veil paintings.

Morris Louis died of lung cancer in 1962.  Retrospective exhibitions of his work have show in museums since his death.