Saturday, November 17, 2007
abstract expressionist clyfford still, reclusive, elusive, brilliant art world drop-out. on his death he bequethed his entire collection, around 3000 paintings, to anyone who could meet a few criteria. among other requirements, these included:
recipient will never sell, trade or give away any of his work
recipient will build and maintain a special permanent museum to hold his work
recipient will show only his work in said permanent museum
recipient will never show his work alongside that of any other artist
after 20 odd years, his estate found a taker, the city of denver, colorodo. the museum is set to open in 2010. probably worth a trip.
his actions may seem arrogant, but i imagine him a man of true conviction. one who did not want his art objectified by an audience that did not take care to understand it. he said, "I hold it imperative to evolve an instrument of thought which will aid in cutting through all cultural opiates, past and present, so that a direct, immediate, and truly free vision can be achieved. . .and I affirm my profound concern to achieve a purpose beyond vanity, ambition, or remembrance." it seems he stood by that, lived his life that way, when he could have easily taken the money and run. i also have to like a guy who says something like this;
"How can we live and die and never know the difference?" ....oh how i am desperate to avoid it.