Robert Motherwell


Robert Motherwell (1915-1991), alongside Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Willem de Kooning, made up a quartet of abstract painters that radically defined Modern painting in America, establishing New York City as the new center of the art world.

Motherwell was the unofficial representative of the New York School, writing and editing a journal, and lecturing on behalf of the movement, his fellow artists, and the merits of abstraction. 

Motherwell's contribution to the art historical canon is undisputed. This recognition is especially imbued as a result of the achievements Motherwell pursued as a printmaker. Motherwell is one of the most experimental and courageous printmakers of the 20th century. He constantly searched for new techniques to express and expand his ideas and aesthetic.

Motherwell's works are instantly recognizable by their repeated motifs: large black forms, sometimes aggressive, sometimes spontaneous, that confidently devour the pictorial plane.

In this work, we find exemplary Motherwell fashion; a bold, abstract black shape is set against a field of color. Neutral colors, such as taupe and cream are frequently used to accelerate the power of his black elements. Collaged into the work is a section from the cover of Arches paper amongst abstracted blocks of muted neutral colors. Where the Cubists incorporated collage into the painted canvas, Motherwell similarly fused it with printmaking, still retaining the gestural spirit of Abstract Expressionism.

Motherwell's finest prints are realized on heavily textured hand-made papers. "America-La France Variations IV" is exemplary of his signature aesthetic and exhibits exceptional character with naturally deckled edges. 

Click here for another example from this iconic series.

Questions about this piece? Contact us or call +1.416.704.1720. Visit our Toronto gallery on Thursdays or by appointment.

"America-La France Variations IV"

USA, 1984

Lithograph and collage in colors 

Signed and numbered in pencil by the artist

From an edition of 68

48"H 32"W (sheet)

50"H 35.5"W (framed)

Publisher: Tyler Graphics, Ltd., Bedford, New York

Very good condition

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