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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Lifeline: Clyfford Still

Streaming on Kino Lorber / Film & TV

The Abstract Expressionist painter Clyfford Still, who died in 1980, filled large canvases with layered fields of color, and sometimes divided up those layers with jagged marks, which he called lifelines. “I want the spectator to be on his own before the paintings,” Still once said, “and if he finds in them an imagery unkind or unpleasant or evil, let him look to the state of his own soul.” Unlike many of his time, Still was not interested in emerging on the American art market. He abhorred selling or lending his paintings, and felt deeply exploited by art-world professionals, often referring to them as soul-sucking and energy-draining. In this documentary, archival material and found footage made by Still himself are combined to paint a picture of this difficult man. What was the price of his vehement independence? —E.C.

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