Robert Motherwell - Two Recent Acquisitions

Robert Motherwell (1915 - 1991) was never expected to become an artist. The son of a well-to-do and conservative bank chairman, Motherwell was expected to follow in his father's footsteps. But a trip to Mexico in 1941 with Surrealist painter Roberto Matta would change all of that.

It was on this trip that he produced his first mature works - eleven pen and ink drawings, collectively called the "Mexican Sketchbook," that show the influence of Surrealism, but are essentially abstract in nature and balance formal composition with spontaneous invention. From here, he would soon become one of the most important and influential Abstract Expressionists.

In 1964 Motherwell began a series of paintings he entitled ‘Africa’, named in honor of Arthur Rimbaud who escaped the cultivated realms of French Symbolist poetry for life as an adventurer in Africa. The first work offered here, Africa 5 (pictured above), is based on this series of paintings, a subject he would return to a number of times in his career. It was first exhibited in 1970 at the famed Marlborough Gallery in New York.

The second work on offer here is titled Art 1981 Chicago Print (pictured below) and was published by the Lakeside Group for the 1981 Chicago International Art Exhibition. Motherwell based this piece on his Untitled collage work from 1977 and although a lithograph, one can clearly see the importance collage played on his artistic career throughout his life.

Both works here are illustrated in Robert Motherwell: The Complete Prints 1940-1991. The catalogue raisonné of all of the artist’s editioned work. They can also be seen in museum and private collections throughout the world.

For additional images or to purchase, please click on either of the images. And as always, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.