Louis made Russet by pouring thinned acrylic paintdown a tilted unprimed canvas, allowing gravity, rather than a paintbrush, to dictate its flow and contours. The two dark vertical lines in the painting indicate where he folded the loose canvas to guide the paint in sections. Along the top of the canvas, the vibrant individual colors he used reveal themselves in the edges of this otherwise muted, ethereal painting. The work belongs to a series of breakthrough paintings the artist made between 1954 and 1958, known as Veils because of the translucent layers and billowing shapes of their aqueous pools of color. The title of this work refers to the overall reddish-brown tone of the paint and, like many of Louis's titles, was assigned to the work by Clement Greenberg, an influential American art critic and a close friend of the artist.
Gallery label from 2009.