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Robert Motherwell

American, 1915-1991

The name of painter, printmaker and writer Robert Motherwell (1915–91) 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, Helen Frankenthaler 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.

Average Sold Price
$5,129
Styles
Materials
St. Michael III
By Robert Motherwell
Located in Toronto, Ontario
Robert Motherwell (1915-1991), alongside Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Willem de Kooning, made up the quartet of American abstract painters that radically defined Modern painting...
Category

1970s Abstract Robert Motherwell

Materials

Lithograph, Screen

Tricolor with Dollar - Original lithograph (Mourlot 1973)
By Robert Motherwell
Located in Paris, FR
Robert MOTHERWELL Tricolor with Dollar, 1973 Original lithograph (Printed in Mourlot workshop) Printed signature in the plate On heavy paper 31 x 24 cm (c. 12 x 10 inch) Edited by ...
Category

1970s American Modern Robert Motherwell

Materials

Lithograph

Paris Suite 4 (Winter)
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
Robert Motherwell Paris Suite IV (Winter) 1980 Lithograph on J.B. Green handmade paper, Edition of 60 47 x 45.7 cms (18.5 x 18 ins) RM17036 CR 267 18 1/2 x 18 in. (47 x 45.7 cm) Sig...
Category

1980s Robert Motherwell

Materials

Lithograph

Sirens II - 20th Century, Robert Motherwell, Figurative, Print, Expressionist
By Robert Motherwell
Located in Köln, DE
An aquatint etching out of 1988 in a very good condition and bright colours. 57 x 66 cm. Edition of 90, signed and numbered.
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell

Materials

Aquatint

America - La France Variations IX
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
Lithograph and collage Edition of 60 72.4 x 55.3 cms (28 1/2 x 21 3/4 ins)
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell

Materials

Lithograph

Greenwich Arts Council
By Robert Motherwell
Located in Saint Augustine, FL
An original lithograph, exhibition poster on heavy cream Strathmore paper by American artist Robert Motherwell (1915-1992) titled "Greenwich Arts Council", 1976. Limited edition: 700...
Category

1970s Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell

Materials

Lithograph

Black with No Way Out
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
15 x 38 ins (38.1 x 96.5 cms) Edition of 98 Signature:Signed "Motherwell" in pencil lower right Inscriptions:Numbered in pencil lower right; workshop chop mark lower right; work...
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell

Materials

Color, Lithograph

Black Open
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
Robert Motherwell Black Open 1985 Aquatint and line etching on Whatman paper 40.6 x 43.2 cms (16 x 17 ins) RM14234
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell

Materials

Aquatint

  • Black Open
  • Black Open
H 16.15 in. W 17.33 in.
Browse all Art from Robert Motherwell
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Galleries Featuring Robert Motherwell

Bernard Jacobson Gallery
4.8
Avery & Dash Collections
4.9
Elizabeth Clement Fine Art
1.0
Marlborough Graphics
5.0
Christopher-Clark Fine Art
5.0
GREGG SHIENBAUM FINE ART
5.0
Graves International Art
5.0

Robert Motherwell art for sale on 1stDibs

1stDibs offers a wide variety of authentic Robert Motherwell art available for sale. If you're looking for a way to add color to a neutral corner of your living room or bedroom, you can find work that includes elements of red, orange, green and other colors. You can also search for art by Robert Motherwell in lithograph, etching, aquatint and more by medium. Much of this artist's original work was created during the 20th century and is mostly associated with the abstract style. Not every interior allows for large Robert Motherwell art, so small editions measuring 5.909999847412109 inches across are available. Customers interested in this artist might also find the work of Paul Jenkins, Helen Frankenthaler and Sam Francis. Robert Motherwell art prices can differ depending upon medium, time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $230 and tops out at $250,000, while the average work can sell for $10,000.

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