For Clyfford Still, a single painting such as Untitled (1950-C)
was comparable to an entry in a journal recording his interior experience. He described his artistic process as a solitary ethical journey, and each painting as an "instrument of thought," an extension and exaltation of his self and its contradictions.
The artist's aim was to relieve color of its traditionally "pleasant, luminous, and symbolic" aspects, and to heighten its expressive potential through selection, juxtaposition, and method of application. In this work, Still employed texture as a central element. The heavy impasto surface of the black contrasts with the smooth surface of the mineral-orange pigment. The act of painting is evident through the visible impressions of his brush strokes and palette-knife scrapings on the surface of the canvas.