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Robert Motherwell (American, 1915–1991)
LOT ID: 74682
Calligraphic Study II, 1976

Etching / Engraving, Aquatint, from one copper plate printed in black
22.5 х 18.5 in. (57.15 x 46.99 cm.)
Signed, and numbered '6/30' in ink lower right on recto. Gallery labels on verso.
Edition 6/30
Foundry/Publisher Brooke Alexander, Inc
Lot description
Robert Motherwell (American, 1915–1991) was one of the founders of the New York School of Abstract Expressionism, and was associated with fellow artistic giants Jackson Pollock (American, 1912–1956), Ad Reinhardt (American, 1913–1967), and Barnett Newman (American, 1905–1970).

As a graduate student at Harvard, Motherwell encountered writers was inspired by writers to express his individuality through the act of gestural painting. In the early 1940s, Motherwell studied art history at Columbia under the famous scholar and critic Meyer Shapiro, who later introduced Motherwell's work into the art world. Motherwell was influenced by the European Surrealist and Automatist émigré painters, and worked closely with Roberto Matta (Chilean, 1911–2002) with whom he traveled to Mexico in 1941. Spurred by this trip, Motherwell began creating several early works that hinted at the gestural quality he would develop in his later work. In the 1950s, his art became more abstract, culminating in the production of his most famous and profoundly influential series, Elegy to the Spanish Republic. He is best known for his mature work, recognizable for its graphic quality expressed through saturated and expressive brushstrokes. In addition to his contributions in painting, Motherwell taught at Black Mountain College in North Carolina and Hunter College in New York, and was the editor of several influential art history books.

Selected Public Collections:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY)
The Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY)
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York, NY)
J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles, CA)
National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.)
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco, CA)
Guggenheim Bilbao (Spain)
Kunstmuseum Basel (Switzerland)
Tate Gallery (London, UK)
Calligraphic Study II by Robert Motherwell
  • Calligraphic Study II by Robert Motherwell
  • Calligraphic Study II by Robert Motherwell
  • Calligraphic Study II by Robert Motherwell
  • Calligraphic Study II by Robert Motherwell
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