Woman assaults Clyfford Still painting worth $40 million, punching and scratching the work before urinating on herself
A 36-year-old woman was yesterday arrested for assaulting a painting by abstract expressionist Clyfford Still worth $40 million. The onslaught began with her leaning on the work at the recently-opened Clyfford Still Museum, and with the woman proceeding to punch it, pull her pants down, and then urinate on herself. The extent of the damage is currently unknown, but it seems that any sustained is not the fault of her bladder, as, according to one spokeswoman for the Denver District Attorney’s Office, ‘It doesn’t appear she urinated on the painting or that the urine damaged it’.
The woman, whose name is Carmen Tisch, has been charged with felony criminal mischief during a visit to the Museum on December 29 2011. The 13-by-9-foot painting in question is titled ‘1957-J No. 2’ and is valued at $30 million to $40 million and will apparently cost $10,000 to repair. Tisch is being held at Denver County Jail on a $20,000 bond, and is set for a court appearance on Friday.
Clyfford Still shot to international fame as a leading figure of the Abstract Expressionist movement in the 1940s and early 1950s. He mixed with the likes of Philip Guston, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock, and Mark Rothko, but quickly retired from the art world. Nevertheless, he was to receive the Award of Merit for Painting in 1972 from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, of which he became a member in 1978, and the Skowhegan Medal for Painting in 1975.
Upon his death in 1980, he specified that the collection of his work must be exhibited in one place, within a venue exclusively dedicated to his work. The new museum in Denver fulfils these wishes, being filled entirely with works by the artist. Designed by Brad Cloepfil, it is a two story 28,500-square-foot concrete building that houses 9 galleries, as well as a library, educational and archival resources, and a studio.
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