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Robert Motherwell Art

Robert Motherwell (USA, 1915–91)

The name of painter, printmaker and writer Robert Motherwell is often taken as synonymous with the New York School, whose name he coined. Motherwell was the youngest of this group of Abstract Expressionists working in art, dance, poetry and music in 1950s and '60s New York City, which included Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Philip Guston and Mark Rothko.


Born in Aberdeen, Washington, in 1915, Motherwell had perhaps the broadest and best education of any of the New York School coterie, with an extensive background in philosophy, literature and art history. He earned a BA in philosophy in 1937 from Stanford University and was working toward a PhD in the subject at Harvard when he interrupted his studies for a yearlong trip to Europe, where he fell in love with European modernism.


After returning, in 1940 he enrolled Columbia to study art history. It was there that he met a group of exiled Parisian Surrealists, and encounter that proved influential on his style. Motherwell began to integrate the idea of “automatism” — unmediated gestures that reflect deeper psychological impulses — into his work, pioneering a new form of Abstract Expressionism that came to characterize the New York School.


Works like the 1967 Beside the Sea no. 45 , an acrylic on canvas, and the 1966 lithograph New York International epitomize Motherwell’s use of simple shapes in boldly contrasting colors, executed in quick, gestural strokes that occasionally evoke figures, suggesting a latent narrative despite their obvious abstraction.


Throughout his career, Motherwell taught painting at Hunter College, in New York, and at Black Mountain College, in North Carolina, where his work influenced the likes of Cy Twombly, Robert Rauschenberg and Kenneth Noland. His influence as one of the founding fathers of American Abstract Expressionism remains profound.

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Flags, Robert Motherwell
By Robert Motherwell
Located in New York, NY
An exquisite example of the artist’s work, Flags, created by Robert Motherwell in 1989, is an original lithograph with embossing, on Chine appliqué of red Moriki handmade paper to Cr...
Category

20th Century Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Lithograph

Rite of Passage III, Robert Motherwell
By Robert Motherwell
Located in New York, NY
A rare archive proof, Rite of Passage, by Robert Motherwell, is an original lithograph with chine collé on handmade paper measuring 24 ½ x 34 in. (73.7 x 86.4 cm), unframed.
Category

20th Century Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Lithograph

Dance I, Robert Motherwell
By Robert Motherwell
Located in New York, NY
This rare lift-ground etching and aquatint is part of the "Dance" series of three prints by Robert Motherwell. The artist’s attention to detail is apparent in Dance I.  This print is...
Category

20th Century Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Etching, Aquatint

The Dalton Print, Robert Motherwell
By Robert Motherwell
Located in New York, NY
Created as an original lithograph in 1979, The Dalton Print, by Robert Motherwell, is hand-signed by the artist in ink, and numbered, measuring 25¾ x 19¾ in. (65.4 x 50.2 cm), unfram...
Category

20th Century Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Lithograph

Art 1981 Chicago Print, Robert Motherwell
By Robert Motherwell
Located in New York, NY
A beautiful example of the artist’s work created for the famed Chicago art fair in 1981, Art 1981 Chicago Print, by Robert Motherwell is an original lithograph, hand-signed by the ar...
Category

20th Century Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Lithograph

Nocturne I, Robert Motherwell
By Robert Motherwell
Located in New York, NY
One of three prints from the Octavio Paz suite, Robert Motherwell’s, Nocturne I is a masterful work of printed art.  An original lithograph created on handmade paper laid then onto A...
Category

20th Century Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Lithograph

Mediterranean Light
By Robert Motherwell
Located in New York, NY
1991 Lithograph in colors, on white TGL handmade paper Sheet: 32 2/5 x 76 inches Edition of 40 Signed and numbered in pencil Framed, mint condition
Category

1990s Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Lithograph

Bicentennial Suite
By Robert Motherwell
Located in Santa Fe, NM
French Revolution Bicentennial Suite is a set of four 1988 aquatints with photoengraving and collage elements by Robert Motherwell. The iconic Suite is hand signed in graphite by Mot...
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Aquatint

Untitled, from: 12th Anniversary Galeria Joan Prats 1976-88 Portfolio
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
ROBERT MOTHERWELL 1915-1991 Aberdeen, Washington 1915 - 1991 Provincetown, Massachusetts (American) Title: Untitled, from: 12th Anniversary Galeria Joan Prats 1976-88 Portfolio, 198...
Category

1980s Abstract Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Lithograph

Gauloises on Grey No. 29 by ROBERT MOTHERWELL - Collage, Acrylic, Contemporary
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
Gauloises on Grey No. 29 by ROBERT MOTHERWELL (1915-1991) Acrylic with paper collage on Upson board 59.7 x 24.8 cm (23 ½ x 9 ¾ inches) Signed lower right, RM Executed in 1972 Prove...
Category

1970s American Modern Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Mixed Media, Acrylic

Greenwich Arts Council
By Robert Motherwell
Located in Saint Augustine, FL
An original lithograph exhibition poster on heavy cream Strathmore paper by American artist Robert Motherwell (1915-1992) titled "Greenwich Arts Council", 1976. From the unsigned li...
Category

1970s Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Lithograph

Untitled from Madrid Suite
By Robert Motherwell
Located in New York, NY
Signed original lithograph from" Madrid Suite" (1965-66) by Robert Motherwell (1915 - 1991). From a portfolio of ten lithographs. Image size 20 x 25 3/4 inches, sheet: 22 1/4 x 30 1...
Category

1960s Contemporary Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Paper

Lyric Suite: Liberté Toute Entière No. 3
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
Black ink with orange bleed on rice paper 22.9 x 27.9 cms (9 x 11 ins)
Category

20th Century Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Ink

No. 2 from Three Poems
By Robert Motherwell
Located in Long Island City, NY
Artist: Robert Motherwell, American (1915 - 1991) Title: No. 2 from Three Poems, collaboration with Octavio Paz Year: 1987 Medium: Lithograph on Japon with Chine Colle Edition: 750 I...
Category

1980s Modern Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Rice Paper, Lithograph

The Aberdeen Stone
By Robert Motherwell
Located in New York, NY
Sheet size: 40 1/4 x 27 5/8 inches Frame dimensions: 48 1/2 x 36 1/8 inches Printer and publisher: ULAE, West Islip, New York Catalogue raisonné: Engberg & Banach 101 Edition size: ...
Category

1970s Abstract Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Lithograph

Frontispiece from" A la Pintura"
By Robert Motherwell
Located in Palm Desert, CA
A print by Robert Motherwell. "Frontispiece from 'A la Pintura'" is an aquatint executed in blue and brown and depicts the writing A la Pintura below a small blue rectangle by Post W...
Category

1970s Post-War Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Aquatint

Mediterranean Light
By Robert Motherwell
Located in New York, NY
1991 Lithograph in colors, on white TGL handmade paper Sheet: 32 2/5 x 76 inches Edition of 40 Signed and numbered in pencil Framed
Category

1990s Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Lithograph

Beau Geste I
By Robert Motherwell
Located in Austin, TX
Artist: Robert Motherwell Title: Beau Geste I Series: Beau Geste pour Lucrece Medium: Lithograph printed on Duchene Moutarde at Trestle Editions Printed by Trestle Editions, New York...
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Lithograph

In Black and White
By Robert Motherwell
Located in Palm Desert, CA
A painting by Robert Motherwell. "In Black and White" is an abstract, oil on paper mounted on board by Post War artist Robert Motherwell. Related to his long and arguably most recogn...
Category

1960s Post-War Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Paper, Oil, Board

Red Samurai, Robert Motherwell
By Robert Motherwell
Located in New York, NY
Created by the artist in 1988, Robert Motherwell’s, Red Samurai is an original lithograph and linocut in colors on Chine applique to wove paper, hand-monogrammed by the artist in pen...
Category

20th Century Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Lithograph, Linocut

Black Flag
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
Signature: Signed "RM" in pencil lower right; signed "Motherwell" (reversed) in plate upper left Inscriptions: Numbered in pencil lower right; artist's chop mark lower right Edition...
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Etching

The Berggruen Series: Untitled
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
40 x 42.2 cms (15 3/4 x 16 5/8 ins) Signature: Signed "Motherwell" in pencil lower right Inscriptions: Numbered in pencil lower right Edition: 100
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Lithograph

The Berggruen Series: Untitled
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
40 x 42.2 cms (15 3/4 x 16 5/8 ins) Edition of 100 Paper: white Arches Cover paper Signature: Signed "Motherwell" in pencil upper left Inscriptions: Numbered in pencil upper le...
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Lithograph

Octavio Paz Suite: Nocturne III
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
Lithograph and chine appliqué 64.5 x 54 cms (25 3/8 x 21 1/4 ins) Edition of 50 Paper: Arches paper; Japanese Gampi handmade paper Other Collaborators: Image transferred from...
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Color, Lithograph

The Basque Suite: Untitled
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
104.1 x 71.8 cms (41 x 28.25 ins) Edition of 150 Paper: J.B. Green Paper Signed "RM" in pencil lower right; signed "Motherwell" in screen lower right Inscriptions: Numbered in ...
Category

1970s Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Color, Screen

Elegy Study
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
Lithograph on Twinrocker handmade paper 1979 64.1 x 95.3 cm (25 1/4 x 37 1/2 inches)
Category

1970s Abstract Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Lithograph

Mexican Night II, Robert Motherwell Etching and Aquatint
By Robert Motherwell
Located in Danvers, MA
Etching and aquatint limited edition print by celebrated abstract expressionist painter, Robert Motherwell. The piece features a palette of bright red and white with expressive, call...
Category

1980s Abstract Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Paper, Etching, Aquatint

La Casa de la Mancha, Robert Motherwell Etching and Aquatint
By Robert Motherwell
Located in Danvers, MA
"La Casa de la Mancha"  (The House in La Mancha) most likely refers to the Castilla-La Mancha region of central Spain, southeast of Madrid. Motherwell created this piece in 1984, lat...
Category

1980s Abstract Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Paper, Etching, Aquatint

'Untitled, from New York International' Limited Edition Signed Abstract Print
By Robert Motherwell
Located in San Rafael, CA
Robert Motherwell (1915-1991) Untitled, from New York International, 1966 Lithograph on Rives BFK paper Edition 50/225 (there were also 25 artist's proofs) Signed and numbered in pen...
Category

Mid-20th Century Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Lithograph

Untitled from Madrid Suite
By Robert Motherwell
Located in New York, NY
Signed original lithograph from" Madrid Suite" (1965-66) by Robert Motherwell (1915 - 1991). From a portfolio of ten lithographs. Image size 20 x 25 3/4 inches, sheet: 22 1/4 x 30 1...
Category

1960s Contemporary Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Paper

The Robinson Jeffers Print
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
The Robinson Jeffers Print, 1981 lithograph on natural Kitakata handmade paper 11 5/8 x 9 5/8 in. (29.5 x 24.5 cm) Signature:Signed "Motherwell" in pencil lower right Inscriptions:Nu...
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Lithograph

Untitled
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
Robert Motherwell Untitled 1986 Colour lithograph and collage, on Guarro paper, Edtion of 100 55.9 x 37.8 cms (22 x 14 7/8 ins)
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Lithograph

Stephen's Iron Crown Etched
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
Aquatint, lift-ground etching and aquatint on German Etching paper Edition of 66 64.1 x 71.8 cms (25.25 x 28.25 ins)
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Etching, Aquatint

Robert Motherwell-Juilliard School Dedication-45" x 29.5"-Lithograph-1969
By Robert Motherwell
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Published in 1969 by the Lincoln Center to announce the opening of the Juillard School. About only 500 of these posters were printed according to the Lincoln Center Posters book, pa...
Category

20th Century Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Lithograph

Robert Motherwell-Elegy to the Spanish Republic No. 34-16" x 20"-Serigraph-1991
By Robert Motherwell
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Museum Reproduction Edition Serigraph printed by Editions Limited in 1991 and Published by Gallery A.P. J. Graphic Station. Copyrighted Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, 1991 and from the ...
Category

20th Century Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Screen

Tricolor 137
By Robert Motherwell
Located in Long Island City, NY
Artist: Robert Motherwell Title: Tricolor 137 Year: 1973 Medium: Offset Lithograph, signed in the plate Size: 15 x 10.5 in. (38.1 x 26.67 cm) Frame: 19 x 16 inches Published by XXe ...
Category

1970s Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Offset

Robert Motherwell-Art Chicago-39.5" x 27.5"-Lithograph-1981-Expressionism-Brown
By Robert Motherwell
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Tyler Graphics Ltd. Image Copyright 1981 Robert Motherwell
Category

20th Century Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Lithograph

Robert Motherwell "American La-France Variations IX" Lithograph, 1984
By Robert Motherwell
Located in Toronto, Ontario
Robert Motherwell (1915-1991), alongside Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Willem de Kooning, made up the quartet of American abstract painters that radically defined Modern painting...
Category

1980s Abstract Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Lithograph

Robert Motherwell "Basque Suite No. 13" Screenprint, 1976
By Robert Motherwell
Located in Toronto, Ontario
Robert Motherwell (1915-1991), alongside Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Willem de Kooning, made up the quartet of abstract painters that radically defined Modern painting in Ameri...
Category

1970s Abstract Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Screen

Lyric Suite (Brown No. 4)
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
Ink on rice paper 27.9 x 22.9 cms (11 x 9 ins)
Category

20th Century Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Ink

Red, White and Blue No. 1
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
Acrylic and pasted paper on paper 21.6 x 17.8 cms (8 1/2 x 7 ins)
Category

20th Century Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Paper, Acrylic

Lyric Suite
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
Ink on rice paper 27.9 x 22.9 cms (11 x 9 ins)
Category

20th Century Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Ink

Lyric Suite
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
Ink on rice paper 27.9 x 22.9 cms (11 x 9 ins)
Category

20th Century Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Ink

Lyric Suite
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
Brown ink with orange bleed on rice paper 22.9 x 27.9 cms (9 x 11 ins)
Category

20th Century Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Ink

Study for Open Series
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
Acrylic and graphite on paper. 15.2 x 21 cms (6 x 8 1/4 ins)
Category

20th Century Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Acrylic, Graphite

Irish Book
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
Acrylic and pasted papers on canvas mounted on board 50.8 x 40.6 cms (20 x 16 ins)
Category

20th Century Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Canvas, Paper, Acrylic

The Brown Stripe
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
Acrylic and pasted papers on paper 35.6 x 21 cms (14 x 8 1/2 ins)
Category

20th Century Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Paper, Acrylic

Red, White and Blue No. 2
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
Acrylic and pasted paper on paper 21.6 x 17.8 cms (8 1/2 x 7 ins)
Category

20th Century Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Paper, Acrylic

Untitled
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
Edition of 24 73.7 x 64.8 cms (29 x 25 1/2 ins)
Category

1970s Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Lithograph

Gesture Series (A)
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
Acrylic on paper 77.5 x 57.2 cms (30 1/2 x 22 1/2 ins)
Category

20th Century Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Acrylic

Untitled
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
Acrylic on paper 79.1 x 106.4 cms (31 1/8 x 41 15/16 ins)
Category

20th Century Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Acrylic

Green Gauloises
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
Acrylic, graphite and printed paper collage on board 42.6 x 36.8 cms (16 3/4 x 14 1/2 ins)
Category

20th Century Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Mixed Media

French Revolution Bicentennial No. 5
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
Acrylic, enamel and pasted papers on paper 25.4 x 35.6 cms (10 x 14 ins)
Category

20th Century Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Mixed Media

Fantasia III
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
Acrylic and pasted papers on paper 57.2 x 45.1 cms (22 1/2 x 17 3/4 ins)
Category

20th Century Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Paper, Acrylic

Cabaret No. 8
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
Acrylic, pencil and collage on paper 55.9 x 26 cms (22 x 10 1/4 ins)
Category

20th Century Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Mixed Media, Acrylic

Open Study (White Line on Beige No. 2)
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
Acrylic and graphite on paper 77.5 x 55.9 cms (30 1/2 x 22 ins)
Category

1960s Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Acrylic

Cabaret No. 2
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
Acrylic, pasted papers, and graphite on paper 56 x 26 cms (22 x 10 1/4 ins)
Category

20th Century Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Mixed Media, Acrylic

Open Study (White Line on Beige No. 1)
By Robert Motherwell
Located in London, GB
Acrylic on paper 77.5 x 55.9 cms (30 1/2 x 22 ins)
Category

20th Century Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell Art

Materials

Acrylic

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