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Robert Motherwell (American, 1915–1991)
LOT ID: 82544
Untitled, ie. circa 1972

Aquatint
24 х 20 in. (60.96 x 50.8 cm.)
Signed, and numbered lower right on recto.
Edition 34/50
Foundry/Publisher the artist and Dain-Schiff Gallery, pub.
Lot description
Image size: 24 x 20 inches (60.9 x 50.8 cm)
Paper size: 41.5 x 29.5 inches (105.4 x 74.9 cm)

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. Motherwell felt: “In making prints, one’s full depth of appreciation for the marvelousness of craftsmanship is enormously reinforced. And I like the first-rate craftsmen as human beings as well as any group of people I know.”

Motherwell’s objective in his print making and in his art was to strip art bare and communicate the most “universal” of feelings – joy, fear, anxiety, sensuality or sorrow. His use of the primary colors of red, blue and yellow raises the notion of the symbolic nature of color to an almost philosophical height. Despite this ofttimes explosive use of color, Motherwell’s primary protagonists remained black and white. In the vast majority of his prints, white does battle with black in a face-off of life against death, light against darkness. Motherwell said it best: “The content of any art is just the world as felt. Its subject matter is just art itself . . . what art is and what it is not.”
Untitled by Robert Motherwell
  • Untitled by Robert Motherwell
  • Untitled by Robert Motherwell
  • Untitled by Robert Motherwell
  • Untitled by Robert Motherwell
  • Untitled by Robert Motherwell
  • Untitled by Robert Motherwell
  • Untitled by Robert Motherwell
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Sales Results for Comparable Works

  • Robert Motherwell

    Black Mountain (State II Red)
    aquatint and etching
    (H 17.8, W 23.6) in.
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  • Robert Motherwell

    Red Sea I
    color etching and aquatint
    (H 23.8, W 19.9) in.
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    Monday, November 05, 2012
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  • Robert Motherwell

    Red Sea II
    color aquatint w/lift-ground etching
    (H 34.3, W 28.7) in.
    (87 x 73) cm.
    Ed. 100/100
    Sold for: US$11,875
    Friday, November 02, 2012
    Sotheby's New York
    Lot 00292
  • Robert Motherwell

    Red Sea I
    color etching and aquatint
    (H 23.8, W 19.9) in.
    (60.3 x 50.5) cm.
    Ed. 14/100
    Sold for: US$10,000
    Monday, November 07, 2011
    Doyle New York
    Lot 00449
  • Robert Motherwell

    The red queen
    color etching w/aquatint and collage
    (H 23.6, W 17.8) in.
    (60 x 45.1) cm.
    Ed. 21/40
    Sold for: US$8,125
    Thursday, October 27, 2011
    Sotheby's New York
    Lot 00327
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