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Clyfford Still, PH-77, 1936, © Clyfford Still Estate, photo by Peter Harholdt
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STILL THE ONE
by Peter Plagens



If an artist were truly worthy of an entire museum dedicated to his work, it’d have to be one who could say with a straight face, “Let no man undervalue the implications of this work or its power for life; -- or for death, if it is misused.” Even better: “Until those symbols of obeisance to -- or illustration of -- vested social structures, from antiquity through Cubism and Surrealism to my then immediate contemporaries, were impaled and their sycophancy exposed on the blade of my identity.” And it would also help if his widow could assert in retrospect that by 1935 the artist “had arrived at a complete mastery of the recording of visual phenomena.”

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