Morris Louis Morris Louis created abstract paintings that ARTnews characterized as "rivers of color." Combining the control of color-field painter Helen Frankenthaler and the spontaneity of action painter Jackson Pollock, Louis often poured paint in directed streams onto his canvases. As ARTnews reported, "To him, it did not matter if the color ran down for a mile or a foot but it did matter that the color (not the paint) impregnated the canvas, that the two were physically unified." His stated goal was to "convert physical paint into stabbing light." Although he worked outside of Washington, D.C., in relative obscurity during much of his career, Louis began to gain wider acclaim toward the end of his life. This undated photograph came from the collection of Louis's widow, Marcella Louis Brenner.

Unidentified photographer
Gelatin silver print, circa 1940
Published October 1963
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; gift of Marcella Brenner

Portrait of the Art World: A Century of ARTnews Photographs
National Portrait Gallery/Smithsonian Institution