History And Context
Morris Louis refined his painting methods considerably in the last three years of his life. During this time, he achieved a delicate balance between gesture and color in the “Florals” (1959–1960) and then his sparer “Columns” (1960). In “Blue Column” (1960), for example, he directed paint in a controlled vertical channel, or poured it from the canvas’s outer edges as in the larger “Unfurleds” (1960–61). Critic Clement Greenberg described Louis’s work as “being soaked in paint rather than merely covered by it….The effect conveys a sense not only of color somehow disembodied, and therefore more purely optical, but also of color as a thing that opens and expands the picture plane.” “Blue Column’s” rich spectrum of color (from the deepest midnight blue to the cool aqua of the waters of the Caribbean) is a stellar example of his intense saturation technique.