- Media category
- Materials used
- synthetic polymer paint on canvas
- 248.3 x 358.1 cm stretcher; 252.0 x 362.0 x 6.8 cm frame
- Purchased under the terms of the Florence Turner Blake Bequest 1967
- Not on display
- Accession number
- © Morris Louis/Copyright Agency
- Artist information
Works in the collection
An early exponent of colour field painting, Morris Louis was a prolific artist, though his career was relatively short. Louis was influenced by Helen Frankenthaler’s stain paintings, and commenced working in this style in 1954. He made more than 600 paintings in the following eight years before succumbing to lung cancer in 1962.
'Ayin', from Louis’s second series of ‘veil’ paintings, was made by pouring a diluted artist’s acrylic paint onto unprimed cotton canvas. Louis folded, stretched and angled the fabric to direct the rivulets of pigment, allowing the washes of luminous colour to merge with the canvas.
'Ayin' was acquired from the 1967 exhibition 'Two decades of American painting'. A display of post-war paintings by predominantly by New York-based artists, it is regarded as one of the most significant shows to travel to Australia. The exhibition was coordinated by the International Program of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and toured to the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
Shown in 4 exhibitions
Two decades of American painting:
- National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, Japan 15 Oct 1966–27 Nov 1966
- The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Kyoto 10 Dec 1966–22 Jan 1967
- Lalit Kala Gallery, India 28 Mar 1967–30 Apr 1967
- National Gallery of Victoria [Swanston Street], Melbourne 06 Jun 1967–09 Jul 1967
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 26 Jul 1967–20 Aug 1967
Abstract Expressionism, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 13 Jul 2012–25 Feb 2013
Unpainting, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 16 Sep 2017–12 Aug 2018
Some mysterious process, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 01 Jun 2020–13 Sep 2020
Referenced in 6 publications
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales picturebook, Sydney, 1972, 63 (colour illus.).
Tony Bond and Wayne Tunnicliffe, Contemporary: Art Gallery of New South Wales Contemporary Collection, 'Collecting contemporary art at AGNSW', pg.424-441, Sydney, 2006, 425.
Renee Free, Art and Australia, 'European Collection', p63-75, Sydney, Jul 1972, 71 (colour illus.).
Robert Hobbs, Milton Avery: the late paintings, 'Clement Greenberg and Milton Avery', pg.10-58, New York, 2001, 15, 16 (illus.). fig. 6
Waldo Rasmussen, Two decades of American painting, Melbourne, 1967.
Editor Unknown (Editor), Bulletin, Sydney, 09 Sep 1967, 40.