Robert Motherwell

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Lithograph on speckled gray HMP handmade paper
104.1 x 78.7 cms (41 x 31 ins)
Edition of 26


  • Condition
  • Dimensions
    41 in. H x 31 in. W
  • Seller Location
    London, United Kingdom
  • Reference Number

About Robert Motherwell (Artist)

The name of painter, printmaker and writer Robert Motherwell is often taken as synonymous with the New York School, whose name he coined. Motherwell was the youngest of this group of Abstract Expressionists working in art, dance, poetry and music in 1950s and '60s New York City, which included Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Philip Guston and Mark Rothko.

Born in Aberdeen, Washington, in 1915, Motherwell had perhaps the broadest and best education of any of the New York School coterie, with an extensive background in philosophy, literature and art history. He earned a BA in philosophy in 1937 from Stanford University and was working toward a PhD in the subject at Harvard when he interrupted his studies for a yearlong trip to Europe, where he fell in love with European modernism.

After returning, in 1940 he enrolled Columbia to study art history. It was there that he met a group of exiled Parisian Surrealists, and encounter that proved influential on his style. Motherwell began to integrate the idea of “automatism” — unmediated gestures that reflect deeper psychological impulses — into his work, pioneering a new form of Abstract Expressionism that came to characterize the New York School.

Works like the 1967 Beside the Sea no. 45 , an acrylic on canvas, and the 1966 lithograph New York International epitomize Motherwell’s use of simple shapes in boldly contrasting colors, executed in quick, gestural strokes that occasionally evoke figures, suggesting a latent narrative despite their obvious abstraction.

Throughout his career, Motherwell taught painting at Hunter College, in New York, and at Black Mountain College, in North Carolina, where his work influenced the likes of Cy Twombly, Robert Rauschenberg and Kenneth Noland. His influence as one of the founding fathers of American Abstract Expressionism remains profound.

About the Seller

1stdibs seller since 2015

Typical response time: 11 hours

Located in London, GB

  • International Fine Print Dealers Association
  • Society Of London Art Dealers

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Robert Motherwell Mediterranean, State I White, 1975
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Robert Motherwell Altamira Elegy, 1980
Altamira Elegy
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Robert Motherwell The Berggruen Series: Untitled, 1980
The Berggruen Series: Untitled
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Robert Motherwell America - La France Variations III, 1984
America - La France Variations III
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Robert Motherwell Game of Chance, 1987
Game of Chance
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Robert Motherwell Summertime in Italy (with Lines), 1966
Summertime in Italy (with Lines)
Robert Motherwell
Lithograph on Rives BFK paper 61.6 x 43.18 cms (24 1/4 x 17 inches) Edition of 100
Robert Motherwell Untitled, 1978
Robert Motherwell
Lithograph and chine colle 73.9 x 56.9 cms (29.1 x 22.4 ins) Edition of 19
Robert Motherwell Summer Light Series: Pauillac, No.4, 1973
Summer Light Series: Pauillac, No.4
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Color Print, Lithograph, Mixed Media
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Robert Motherwell New York International: Untitled, 1966
New York International: Untitled
Robert Motherwell
Lithograph on Rives BFK paper 55.9 x 43.2 cms (22 x 17 ins) Edition of 225
Robert Motherwell Gesture I (State I), 1977
Gesture I (State I)
Robert Motherwell
Color Print, Lithograph
Aquatint, lift-ground etching and aquatint on J.B. Green paper 89.5 x 66.7 cms (35 1/4 x 26 1/4 ins) Edition of 75
Robert Motherwell Summer Trident, 1990
Summer Trident
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Color Print, Lithograph
14.13 x 16.14 ins (35.9 x 41 cms) Edition of 200
Robert Motherwell Untitled, 1966
Robert Motherwell
Black-and-white Print, Lithograph
30 x 22 in. (76.2 x 55.9 cm) Edition of 100 Paper: Rives BFK paper Proofs:AP (unrecorded), 1 PP Signature:Signed "Motherwell" in pencil lower right Inscriptions:Numbered in pen...