FAST & FREE Worldwide Shipping & Returns
Wish List Cart 0

Robert Motherwell Prints for Sale

The artist Robert Motherwell (1915–1991) was born in Washington, US. Due to childhood asthma, Motherwell was reared largely on the Pacific Coast and spent most of his school years in California. There he developed a love for the broad spaces and bright colours that later emerged as essential characteristics of his abstract paintings and prints. In the 1930s Robert Motherwell  studied painting at California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco. There he was introduced to modernism through his extensive reading of symbolist and other literature, especially Mallarmé, James Joyce, Edgar Allan Poe, and Octavio Paz

When he was 20 Motherwell traveled to Europe on a Grand Tour of Paris, Amalfi in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, The Netherlands and London, ending in Motherwell in Scotland

Motherwell's father wanted him to undertake academic study as a fallback from art, so he enrolled at Harvard University where he researched the writings of Eugène Delacroix

In 1940 Motherwell moved to New York to study at Columbia University, where he was encouraged by Meyer Schapiro to devote himself to painting rather than academic study. Shapiro introduced the young artist to Max Ernst, Duchamp and Masson, and arranged for him to study with Kurt Seligmann. The time that Motherwell spent with the Surrealists proved to be influential to his art. After a 1941 voyage with Roberto Matta to Mexico ~(where he met Maria, an actress and his future wife) Motherwell decided to make painting his primary vocation

In the early 1940s Robert Motherwell played a significant role in laying the foundations for the new movement of Abstract Expressionism (or the New York School). Along with Matta, he asked some other American artists - Pollock and de Kooning and Hofmann and Kamrowski and Busa and several other people - that would help start a new movement. Peggy Guggenheim put on a show of their work

Throughout the 1950s Motherwell also taught painting at Hunter College in New York and at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. Cy Twombly, Robert Rauschenberg and Kenneth Noland studied under and were influenced by his art

In the mid 1950s Motherwell worked on a small series of paintings which incorporated the words Je t’aime, expressing his most intimate and private feelings. His collages began to incorporate material from his studio such as cigarette packets and labels becoming records of his daily life. The late 1960s saw Motherwell using Gauloises packets and cartons in many collages, including an extensive series with the packets surrounded by bright red acrylic paint, often with incised lines in the painted areas

Robert Motherwell died in Provincetown, Massachusetts on July 16, 1991. On Motherwell's death, Clement Greenberg, the great champion of the New York School, left in little doubt his esteem for the artist, commenting that, "although he is underrated today, in my opinion he was one of the very best of the Abstract Expressionist painters"
Robert Motherwell