The picture has to become stronger than you are. When the picture is the elephant or the wind and you are the straw, then you know how to paint (Milton Resnick).
When Milton Resnick returned from Berkely in 1956, he moved into a loft on East 10th Street where he gained increasing recognition in the New York art scene with an article in Art News and his inclusion in several important group exhibitions at the Whitney Museum, the Jewish Museum and Tibor de Nagy Gallery. In 1959, Resnick rented a huge loft on Broadway with 5,000 square feet and eight skylights. In this space he began to paint on enormous canvases, each fifteen to twenty-five feet long, the biggest expression of abstraction ever seen. Resnick finally felt he was making pictures without lines, making them only of paint. He was able to control and sustain different states from painting-these were the pictures that opened him up as an artist; that freed him to explore the multitude of possibilities of painting.
Executed in 1959, Crown is a tour de force of color and movement and represents an earth shattering moment in American Art history. Resnick himself had a crisis of faith in 1956 after Jackson Pollock's untimely death and Ad Reinhardt's 1957 manifesto, "Twelve Rules for a New Academy" which reflected the urgency felt by that generation of artists to remake their art from the ground up. This is exactly what Resnick set out to do. No longer concentrating on his poetry as he had in Paris a few years before, painting was "a 'cure,' not a mere 'activity' or 'picture'" (Milton Resnick, The Elephant in the Room, exh. cat., New York, 2011).
With it's airy, spring-like tangle of lightly brushed, though heavily worked vibrant colors, Crown both struggles against the tyranny of pictorial allusion and basks in the inspiration of nature.