ROBERT MOTHERWELL "RITES OF PASSAGE II", 1980
Robert Motherwell (1915-1991), alongside Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Willem de Kooning, made up the quartet of American abstract painters that radically defined abstraction and established New York City as the center of the art world for the second half of the 20th century.
Motherwell was also the unofficial spokesman of the New York School, writing, teaching, and lecturing on behalf of the movement, his fellow artists, and the merits of abstraction.
His work appears in museum collections around the world and is instantly recognizable for its boldness and black forms. Yet in addition to his impressive paintings, Motherwell is also revered as a printmaker. He is one of the most innovative and prolific printmakers of the 20th century. He was always searching for new techniques, whether at his own printmaking atelier or collaborating with others, to expand his ideas and express his aesthetic.
This print, along with "El General", was created at Tyler Graphics in 1979.
"Rites of Passage II" is a paradigm of Motherwell's practice, featuring bold, black shapes against a powerful field of saturated red. The simplicity of these gestural forms recalls Japanese calligraphy or ancient numbers. This work, like many of this era, Motherwell seems to balance the spirit of abstract expressionism with minimalism.
Not surprisingly, Motherwell's red prints are the most collected and sought-after works in his oeuvre.
"Rites of Passage II"
Signed and numbered in pencil by the artist, lower left
Embossed printers stamp (chop mark)
Lithograph on handmade duplex paper
From an edition of 51
21"H 25.5"W (image)
31.25"H 39"W (sheet)
35"H 42.74"W (framed)
Newly framed with museum glass
Publisher: Tyler Graphics Ltd., New York
Very good condition
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