- Arts and Design
Robert Motherwell Paintings and Prints
Born in 1915, Robert Motherwell was the youngest member of the New York art movement 'the Abstract Expressionists'. He was also one of their more intellectual members who was an active writer heavily influenced by poetry and philosophy before abandoning his academic career to pursue his painting full time, thereby ensuring that he left a legacy of Robert Motherwell paintings and prints. He became one of the leading members of the group which believed that the act of the painting was itself the content and the aim was not to paint attractive art and that typical American art only portrayed what was on the surface. He strongly believed that it was necessary to strip away the innesential and reveal only the necessary. Although he was probably not as well know as others in the group such as Mark Rothko, Fraz Kline and Jackson Pollock, it was only with Motherwell's encouragement and persuasion that Mark Rothko ever left the confines of his studio to allow his art to be displayed.
Although introducing colour into his paintings later on, including becoming well known for creating the 'Motherwell Blue', he predominantly used only black paint, sometimes using turpentine to water down the black and create a shadow effect.
Although he had solo exhibitions as early as the late 1940's it was predominantly with the rise of Pop Art, that Motherwell became widely known and respected, especially for his large scale paintings.
Perhaps his most well known and significant work was the project entitled "Elegies for the Spanish Republic", one of which you can see above, which many feel was heavily influenced by his admiration for the poetry of Spaniard Frederic Garcia Lorca.
He died in July 1991.