Rivulets of black, green, blue, and mauve paint skirt this vast stretch of white canvas. Morris Louis created the painting by leaning a large, unprimed canvas against a wall and pouring diluted paint onto the surface. Rather than using a brush to manipulate the paint, he tilted and pleated the canvas to direct the flow, allowing the paint to seep into the raw canvas. (With a primed canvas, the paint would have remained on the surface, separate from the weave.) The result is a lyrical composition that focuses on the purity of the artist’s materials and eliminates the expressive gestures seen in abstract expressionism.



  • Title: Gamma Lambda
  • Creator: Morris Louis
  • Date: 1960/1960
  • Location Created: Washington D.C., United States
  • Provenance: Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York, 1960; Waddington Galleries, London; Alistair McAlpine, London; Waddington Galleries II, London, 1970; Galerie Marie-Louise Jeanneret, Geneva, Switzerland; Waddington Galleries, London; Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.; Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.to the Chrysler Museum, 1977.
  • Physical Dimensions: 103 1/4 x 154 1/2 in. (262.3 x 392.4 cm)
  • Credit Line: Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: © 1960 Morris Louis
  • Medium: Acrylic on canvas

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