Myron Stout ( American, 1908 - 1987 )

c. 1950
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General Description

Myron Stout is a Texas native who claimed a significant spot in the arena of post-war New York abstract art. A native of Denton, he studied at North Texas State University and taught briefly in San Antonio. He earned a Master's Degree at Columbia University Teacher's College and moved on a permanent basis to New York in 1937. Until 1950 he split his time between New York and Provincetown, where he then lived year-round.

Stout is best known for his small to moderate-scaled black and white paintings and very small charcoal, conté crayon, and graphite drawings, each with astonishingly rich surfaces and deceptively simple forms. His images are distilled and highly concentrated elemental shapes or structures. His process can best be described as meticulous, each work labored over on and off for months or even years. Stout achieved, thereby, a powerful sense of density or weight, a tension between form and void, an uncanny spatial ambiguity.

Untitled was painted in the 1950s, years during which Stout studied in the summers at Hans Hofmann's school in Provincetown. The painting's vibrant color and sense of directional intensity or energy surely reveals Hofmann's impact. There is a tremendous optical vibration resulting from Stout's careful choice of color, ranging from yellow to pale orange to saturated orange or near red to an uncommon hot pink. The small blocks of blue amplify the optical vibration and reinforce the sense of upward flow or motion. Despite the clear influence of Hofmann, Stout seems never to have been tempted by the gestural expressionism of many of his contemporary abstract colleagues.

Adapted from

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