7 Bronze is a classic Veil painting by Morris Louis, the main practitioner of the movement that has come to be known as Color Field painting. Championed by the influential art critic Clement Greenberg, Color Field rose to prominence in the late fifties and its primary characteristics were color, often in waves of unmodulated fields and most importantly, a feeling for flatness and preservation of the picture plane as a two-dimensional surface.
One of the notable characteristics about Morris Louis is his technique-his paintings are stained, not painted and do not utilize a brush. Intensely private, the artist's working method remains a mystery, but what is clear from an examination is that they were executed in three unequal sections and that the works were poured from the top down, where the pigment pooled up at the bottom. Louis's technique is inextricably linked with his work. "Louis spills his paint on unsized and unprimed cotton duck canvas, leaving the pigment almost everywhere thin enough, no matter how many different veils of it are superimposed, for the eye to sense the threadedness and wovenness of the fabric underneath. But "underneath" is the wrong word. The fabric being soaked in paint rather than merely covered by it, becomes paint in itself, color in itself, like dyed cloth; the threadedness and wovenness are in the color" (C. Greenberg as quoted in M. Fried, Morris Louis, New York, 1970).
Unlike Louis's later work, the Veil paintings are dominated by earth tones, with bright flashes of color along the extreme edges, particularly along the top. The wisps of blue, orange and yellow betray the myriad colors beneath, which combine to create the rich bronze-like color of its title. The veil is rooted at the bottom edge of the canvas and slightly bows outward as it approaches the corners. Rigidly monolithic in form, the veil takes up virtually the entire surface, enveloping the viewer in a wall of color. The massive, mountain-like shape with its interior jagged shapes reference Clyfford Still's abstracted landscapes.