Delta Theta

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Morris Louis, Delta Theta, 1961
BY MADELINE VASQUEZ 

Morris Louis was known for his immense amount of work within the world of Color Field painting. Towards the beginning of his career as an artist, he had not yet found his style and drew odd sketches of figures and painted people. Around the mid-1950’s, his inspiration from Rothko, Pollock, Newman, and others, allowed him to realize that he loved the idea of free-flowing color and tonal relations. He said, "The more I paint the more I'm aware of a difference in my approach and others. Am distrustful of over-simplifications but nonetheless think that there is nothing very new in any period of art: what is true is that it is only something new for the painter and that this thin edge is what matters." 

He worked with the the three styles of Abstract Expressionism, Color Field Painting, and Lyrical Abstraction. From these styles he created a five series grouping of his works in which each we called, Veil, Floral, Unfurled, Stripe, and Column. Between 1955 and 1957 he ended up destroying a lot of his paintings, but continued to work on and complete the Veil series shortly after. 

Louis’s Delta Theta is one of his most famous and recognizable works of art in his Unfurled series. He was known for altering the canvas he used, so for this he folded the canvas and then poured different colors of acrylic down the sides to create the dripping effect. By not using up the whole canvas, Louis took on the amazing concept of pictorial space and how an artist does not need to cover the whole canvas.

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