Robert Motherwell (USA, 1915–91)

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.

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Gesture III

Robert Motherwell

Gesture III
Robert Motherwell
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Etching, Aquatint
Brushed aquatint, lift-ground etching and aquatint on J.B. Green paper 88.9 x 66.7 cms (35 x 26.3 ins) Edition of 75
THE ROBINSON JEFFERS PRINT

Robert Motherwell

THE ROBINSON JEFFERS PRINT
Robert Motherwell
1980s Abstract Expressionist Abstract Prints
Lithograph
Edition of 100 29.5 x 24.4 cms (11 5/8 x 9 5/8 ins)
At the Edge

Robert Motherwell

At the Edge
Robert Motherwell
1980s Abstract Expressionist Abstract Prints
Mixed Media, Color Print, Etching, Aquatint
Aquatint, lift-ground etching and aquatint on Auvergne a la Main Richard de Bas handmade paper 57.8 x 63.8 cms (22.75 x 25.1 ins) Edition of 34 Signed "Motherwell" in pencil low...
Calligraphic Study IV

Robert Motherwell

Calligraphic Study IV
Robert Motherwell
1970s Abstract Expressionist Abstract Prints
Etching, Aquatint
Lift-ground etching and aquatint on HMP handmade paper Edition of 30 57.7 x 45.7 cms (22-3/4 x 18 ins)
Untitled

Robert Motherwell

Untitled
Robert Motherwell
1970s Abstract Expressionist Abstract Prints
Lithograph
Edition of 24 73.7 x 64.8 cms (29 x 25 1/2 ins)
Summer Sign

Robert Motherwell

Summer Sign
Robert Motherwell
1990s Abstract Expressionist Abstract Prints
Color Print
Carborundum on Whatman paper Edition of 38 84.1 x 78.7 cms (33 1/8 x 31 ins)
Untitled

Robert Motherwell

Untitled
Robert Motherwell
1980s Abstract Expressionist Abstract Prints
Lithograph
55.9 x 37.8 cms (22 x 14 7/8 ins)
Stephen's Iron Crown Etched

Robert Motherwell

Stephen's Iron Crown Etched
Robert Motherwell
1980s Abstract Expressionist Abstract Prints
Etching, Aquatint
Edition of 66 64.1 x 71.8 cms (25.25 x 28.25 ins)
Untitled

Robert Motherwell

Untitled
Robert Motherwell
1970s Abstract Expressionist Abstract Prints
Etching, Aquatint
Edition of 69 65.4 x 50.2 cms (25.75 x 19.75 ins)
Put out all Flags

Robert Motherwell

Put out all Flags
Robert Motherwell
1980s Abstract Abstract Prints
Etching, Aquatint
Aquatint, lift-ground etching and aquatint on German Etching paper 53.3 x 73.7 cms (21 x 29 ins) Edition of 50
London Series I: Untitled (Green)
London Series I: Untitled (Green)
Robert Motherwell
1970s Abstract Prints
Screen Print
Born in 1915, Robert Motherwell studied art and philosophy in several schools before he attended Columbia University in New York. While in New York he met several Surrealist artists wit...
America - La France Variations III
America - La France Variations III
Robert Motherwell
1980s Abstract Expressionist Abstract Prints
Lithograph
Color lithograph and collage on black Arches Cover, Edition of 70 122 x 78.1 cms (48 x 30 3/4 ins)
The Basque Suite: Untitled

Robert Motherwell

The Basque Suite: Untitled
Robert Motherwell
1970s Abstract Expressionist Abstract Prints
Screen Print
Edition of 150 104.1 x 71.7 cms (41 x 28 1/4 ins)
Gesture IV

Robert Motherwell

Gesture IV
Robert Motherwell
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Etching, Aquatint
Lift-ground etching with aquatint in colors on JB Green paper 88.9 x 66.6 cms (35 x 26 1/4 ins) Edition of 100
Red Sea III

Robert Motherwell

Red Sea III
Robert Motherwell
1980s Abstract Abstract Prints
Etching, Aquatint
Aquatint and lift-ground etching on Georges Duchêne Hawthorne of Larroque handmade paper, Edition of 70 1983 90.2 x 46.4 cms (35 1/2 x 18 1/4 ins)
Red Sea I

Robert Motherwell

Red Sea I
Robert Motherwell
1970s Abstract Expressionist Abstract Prints
Color Print, Etching, Aquatint
105.4 x 74 cms (41 1/2 x 29 1/8 ins) Edition of 100 Paper: Arches Cover Signature: Signed "Motherwell" in pencil lower right Inscriptions: Numbered in pencil lower right; artist's...
Bastos

Robert Motherwell

Bastos
Robert Motherwell
1970s Abstract Expressionist Abstract Prints
Lithograph
Edition of 49 158.4 x 101.6 cms (62.4 x 40 ins)
Monster

Robert Motherwell

Monster
Robert Motherwell
1970s Abstract Expressionist Abstract Prints
Lithograph
Lithograph on speckled gray HMP handmade paper 104.1 x 78.7 cms (41 x 31 ins) Edition of 26
Red Open with White Line

Robert Motherwell

Red Open with White Line
Robert Motherwell
1970s Abstract Expressionist Abstract Prints
Aquatint, Color Print, Etching
Aquatint and soft-ground etching on Georges Duchene Hawthorne of Larroque handmade paper 47 x 90.5 cms (18 1/2 x 35 5/8 ins) Edition of 56
Redness of Red, State I
Redness of Red, State I
Robert Motherwell
1980s Abstract Abstract Prints
Lithograph, Screen Print
Robert Motherwell Redness of Red, State I, 1985 Lithograph, Screenprint on Paper 24h x 16w in
Primal Signs IV (variant)

Robert Motherwell

Primal Signs IV (variant)
Robert Motherwell
1980s Abstract Expressionist Prints and Multiples
Aquatint
TECHNICAL INFORMATION Robert Motherwell Primal Signs IV (variant) 1980 Aquatint with embossing 30 x 20 1/2 in. Edition of 62 Pencil signed and numbered, near artist bilndstamp Accompa...
Robert Motherwell, Untitled from Ten Works + Ten Painters, 1964, serigraph
Robert Motherwell, Untitled from Ten Works + Ten P...
Robert Motherwell
1960s Prints and Multiples
Screen Print
Robert Motherwell Untitled from Ten Works + Ten Painters, 1964, (168/500) serigraph and collage 22 x 16 in From the unsigned folio 10 prints + 10 painters published by The Wadsworth At...
Robert Motherwell, Red Sea III, 1983, (50/70), aquatint and etching
Robert Motherwell, Red Sea III, 1983, (50/70), aqu...
Robert Motherwell
1980s Prints and Multiples
Etching, Aquatint
Robert Motherwell Red Sea III, 1983, (50/70) aquatint and etching 28.50 x 11.75 in Aquatint and etching printed in red and black, 1983, signed in pencil and numbered 50/70 (total editio...
Greenwich Arts Council

Robert Motherwell

Greenwich Arts Council
Robert Motherwell
1970s Abstract Expressionist Abstract Prints
Lithograph
An original lithograph exhibition poster on heavy cream Strathmore paper by American artist Robert Motherwell (1915-1992) titled "Greenwich Arts Council", 1976. From the unsigned limit...
The Wave

Robert Motherwell

The Wave
Robert Motherwell
1980s Abstract Prints
Lithograph
Limited Edition Edition # 66/92 Certificate of Authenticity from Tyler Graphics
Art 1981 Chicago

Robert Motherwell

Art 1981 Chicago
Robert Motherwell
1980s Abstract Expressionist Abstract Prints
Lithograph
An original lithograph exhibition poster on heavy cream Strathmore paper after American artist Robert Motherwell (1915-1992) titled "Chicago International Art Expo", 1981. Tyler Graphic...
Black With No Way Out

Robert Motherwell

Black With No Way Out
Robert Motherwell
Late 20th Century Contemporary Prints and Multiples
Lithograph
In 1937, Motherwell heard the novelist and art theorist André Malraux speak at a rally concerning the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939), provoking his interest in a moral issue that would p...
Lines for St. Gallen

Robert Motherwell

Lines for St. Gallen
Robert Motherwell
Late 20th Century Contemporary Prints and Multiples
Lithograph
An original color lithograph created by Robert Motherwell in 1971, Lines for St. Gallen measures 27 x 22 in. (70 x 56 cm.), unframed, is hand-signed and numbered in pencil, and from the...
St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (Poster) -- signed li...
Robert Motherwell
1970s Abstract Expressionist Abstract Prints
Lithograph
Original color lithograph designed by Robert Motherwell for the 94th Season, Powell Symphony Hall, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra From the limited edition of 120 + A.P.s on Arches Cover p...
French Revolution Bicentennial II
French Revolution Bicentennial II
Robert Motherwell
1980s Abstract Abstract Prints
Aquatint
Aquatint, photo engraving and collage 16 7/8 x 20 1/8 inches Edition of 35 Signed and numbered MOTX383
America - La France Variations IX
America - La France Variations IX
Robert Motherwell
1980s Post-War Abstract Prints
Lithograph
Lithograph and collage 28 1/2 x 21 3/4 inches Edition of 60 Signed and numbered MOTX337A
Forever Black (El Negro)

Robert Motherwell

Forever Black (El Negro)
Robert Motherwell
1980s Abstract Abstract Prints
Lithograph
Limited edition lithograph from his book El Negro
Robert Motherwell, America - La France Variations VI AP, 1983-4, Lithograph
Robert Motherwell, America - La France Variations ...
Robert Motherwell
1980s Prints and Multiples
Lithograph
America - La France Variations VI AP, 1983-4 (11/28) Color lithograph and collage on white Arches Cover 46.50 x 32.12 in Frame size 49 x 34.5 x 2 in. Artist's proof, aside from the edi...
Octavio Paz Suite: Return
Octavio Paz Suite: Return
Robert Motherwell
1980s Contemporary Prints and Multiples
Lithograph
Lithograph & Chine Colle Edition of 50 28 1/4 x 19 3/8 inches Initialed MOTX424A
Hommage a Picasso: Window

Robert Motherwell

Hommage a Picasso: Window
Robert Motherwell
1970s Abstract Abstract Prints
Lithograph
Hommage a Picasso: Window, 1973 lithograph, ed 90, PP2 30 x 22"
Spanish Elegy I

Robert Motherwell

Spanish Elegy I
Robert Motherwell
1970s Contemporary Prints and Multiples
Lithograph
Edition of 38 Lithograph 17 1/2 x 30 1/2 inches Signed and numbered MOTX174
Untitled- From Ten Works X Ten Painters
Robert Motherwell
1960s Abstract Expressionist Abstract Prints
This stunning screen print with collage was realized by the esteemed Abstract Expressionist artist Robert Motherwell in 1964. It features an anthropomorphic form- reminiscent of a styli...
Beau Geste VI

Robert Motherwell

Beau Geste VI
Robert Motherwell
1980s Prints and Multiples
In 1940, a young painter named Robert Motherwell came to New York City and joined a group of artists – including Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko and Franz Kline - who se...
In Celebration

Robert Motherwell

In Celebration
Robert Motherwell
20th Century Abstract Expressionist Abstract Prints
Offset lithograph on Rives BFK paper Edition of 200
Gesture IV

Robert Motherwell

Gesture IV
Robert Motherwell
1970s Contemporary Prints and Multiples
Aquatint
Lift-ground aquatint 34 5/8 x 25 7/8 inches Edition of 100 Signed and numbered MOTX208C
Beau Geste IV

Robert Motherwell

Beau Geste IV
Robert Motherwell
1980s Contemporary Prints and Multiples
Lithograph
Lithograph Edition of 100 22 x 15 inches Signed and numbered MOTX483
Octavio Paz Suite: Nocturne VIII
Octavio Paz Suite: Nocturne VIII
Robert Motherwell
1980s Contemporary Prints and Multiples
Lithograph
Lithograph and chine applique Edition of 50 25 3/8 x 21 1/4 inches Initialed MOTX422A
Spanish Elegy II

Robert Motherwell

Spanish Elegy II
Robert Motherwell
Prints and Multiples
Lithograph
Robert Motherwell Spanish Elegy II, 1975 lithograph on brown hmp handmade paper 22 x 32 inches 55.9 x 81.3 cm Edition of 38 signed (PKE 20914)
America - La France Variatios VI
America - La France Variatios VI
Robert Motherwell
Prints and Multiples
Lithograph
Robert Motherwell America - La France Variations VI, 1984 Lithograph and collage 46 x 31 1/2 inches 116.8 x 80 cm Edition of 60 Signed (PKE 19179)
Beige Open

Robert Motherwell

Beige Open
Robert Motherwell
Prints and Multiples
Etching
Robert Motherwell Beige Open, 1981 Soft-ground etching on beige Auvergne a la Main Richard de Bas handmade paper 20 x 26 1/4 inches 50.8 x 66.7 cm Edition of 80 Signed (PKE 19173...
Summertime in Italy (with Lines)
Summertime in Italy (with Lines)
Robert Motherwell
Prints and Multiples
Lithograph
Robert Motherwell Summertime in Italy (with Lines), 1966 lithograph on Rives BFK paper 22 1/4 x 17 inches 56.5 x 43.2 cm Edition of 100 + AP signed "Robert Motherwell" in pencil, ...
Summertime in Italy (with Lines)
Summertime in Italy (with Lines)
Robert Motherwell
20th Century Abstract Expressionist Abstract Prints
Lithograph
recto signed "82/100, Robert Motherwell"
Wanderers

Robert Motherwell

Wanderers
Robert Motherwell
20th Century Abstract Expressionist Abstract Prints
Etching
signed by Artist
Untitled

Robert Motherwell

Untitled
Robert Motherwell
Late 20th Century Contemporary Prints and Multiples
Etching, Aquatint
An extraordinary etching by Robert Motherwell, Untitled, 1973 is an equisite study in simple line and color with a profoud result. This original print is hand0signed by the artist in p...
Gray Open with White Paint
Gray Open with White Paint
Robert Motherwell
20th Century Abstract Expressionist Abstract Prints
Etching
Signed, from the edition of 79.
America - La France Variations VI
America - La France Variations VI
Robert Motherwell
20th Century Abstract Prints
Lithograph and collage
Seaside Studio

Robert Motherwell

Seaside Studio
Robert Motherwell
20th Century Abstract Expressionist Abstract Prints
Etching
signed by Artist
Basque Suite #6

Robert Motherwell

Basque Suite #6
Robert Motherwell
1970s American Modern Abstract Prints
Lithograph
Color Lithograph Image Size: Approx. 22 x 17 inches Framed: Approx. 26 x 21 inches Signed and Numbered Ed. 150 American painter, Robert Motherwell, was one of the founders and princip...
America-La France Variations II
America-La France Variations II
Robert Motherwell
1980s Abstract Abstract Prints
Mixed Media, Lithograph
Signed and Numbered Edition 1/70 Color Lithograph with Collage On Handmade Papers with Blindstamp of the Publisher, Tyler Graphics, Ltd Sheet Size: approx 46 x 29 inches Framed Size: ...
Red Sea I

Robert Motherwell

Red Sea I
Robert Motherwell
1970s Contemporary Prints and Multiples
Etching, Aquatint
Red Sea I, 1976 Aquatint 41 1/2 x 29 1/16 inches Edition of 100 Signed and numbered MOTX158C
Red Open with White Line
Red Open with White Line
Robert Motherwell
1970s Contemporary Prints and Multiples
Aquatint, Etching
Aquatint and soft-ground etching 18 1/2 x 35 5/8 inches Edition of 56 Signed and numbered MOTX238A
Lament for Lorca

Robert Motherwell

Lament for Lorca
Robert Motherwell
1980s Post-War Abstract Prints
Paper, Lithograph
A color lithograph on paper by Post War artist Robert Motherwell. "Lament for Lorca" is an abstract lithograph executed primarily in black, with orange and white. Edition 52/52/ Signed ...
Red Queen

Robert Motherwell

Red Queen
Robert Motherwell
1980s Contemporary Prints and Multiples
Aquatint, Etching
Aquatint, etching and collage 31 x 25 inches Edition of 40 Signed and numbered MOTX476B