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Robert Motherwell (American, 1915–1991)
LOT ID: 75107
The Wave, ie. circa 1978

Etching / Engraving, softground etching with collage on wove paper
23.4 х 19.6 in. (59.44 x 49.78 cm.)
Signed, and numbered in pencil, lower recto; with blindstamp at lower right
Print/Casting Year ie. circa 1974
Edition 60
Foundry/Publisher Brooke Alexander and the artist, co-publishers
Lot description
Image Size: 23.4 x 19.6 inches
Sheet Size: 30.75 x 25.8 inches

Motherwell’s objective in his print making and in his art was to communicate the most “universal” feelings – joy, fear, anxiety, sensuality, sorrow. His use of the primary colors red, blue and yellow raised the notion of the symbolic nature of color to an almost philosophical height.
Robert Motherwell was the youngest of the first generation of Abstract Expressionist artists. His friends and peers included Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Adolph Gottlieb, Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko. He was, however, the only one of the “The New York School” to become a prolific print maker. In all, Robert Motherwell produced over 500 print editions. His interest in the medium coincided with the print renaissance of the 1960s. Motherwell enjoyed the collaborative nature of the print craft and worked with such master printers such as Ken Tyler, Catherine Mosley, Emiliano Sorini and Irwin Hollander. He plied his craft at print workshops such as Universal Limited Art Editions, Gemini G.E.L. and Tyler Graphics.
Unlike other New York School Abstract Expressionists, Robert Motherwell (1915-1999) was inspired by the Cubists' work with collage, and also the ideas of Duchamp, elevating common objects to the highest works of art. While working in the studio he would free-associate by shifting collage materials around to get the right balance within a composition. With his art, Motherwell’s goal was to conduct a physical and mental interaction between viewer and canvas, engaging them with the intellectual investigations found within. By exploring a deeper sense of reality beyond the recognizable image, Motherwell broke with traditional conventions of art, provoking criticism and controversy along with other Abstract Expressionists such as Williem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Franz Kline.

Select Public Collections:
Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY)
J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles, CA)
National Gallery of Art (Washington, DC)
Guggenheim Museum (New York, NY)
Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
National Gallery of Austrailia (Canberra, AU)
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The Wave by Robert Motherwell
  • The Wave by Robert Motherwell
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