Lot Details

This birthday card to his wife and fellow Abstract Expressionist Helen Frankenthaler is an intimate example of Robert Motherwell's artistry, contained on a 3 x 5 index card. With a personal birthday note written on the back, Motherwell painted seven simple lines of green, mauve, and yellow in watercolor across the front. The couple were married from 1958 to 1971, which marked a period of mutual influence upon their work.

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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  • Pickup Location: New York, USA
  • Shipping Dimensions: 3 x 5 in. (7.62 x 12.7 cm.)
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