ROBERT MOTHERWELL "AFRICA SUITE #10" , 1970
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 America and established New York City as the new center of the art world.
Motherwell was the unofficial spokesman of the New York School, writing, editing a journal, and lecturing on behalf of the movement, his fellow artists, and the merits of abstraction.
Motherwell’s works are instantly recognizable by their repeated visual motifs. A devoted exploration within his practice was working with abstract fields of dark negative space. Often aggressive or elegant in their spontaneity, his compositions hold confident energy.
The Africa Suite portfolio is an important part of Motherwell's printmaking oeuvre because of its celebration of gestural black forms. In this body of work, Motherwell asks the spirit of abstract expressionism to confront minimalism.
"Africa Suite #10" is one of most striking examples from this admired series of prints. It features a bold and very ambiguous black shape against a warm neutral color field. The simplicity of this composition recalls a graphic Rorschach test. An organic form swells across the page and begs the viewer to interpret its presence. Is this shape representing something menacing or friendly? Or is it simply an abstraction?
Motherwell's contribution to the art historical canon is undisputed. This recognition is imbued as a result of his prolific achievements in printmaking. He is revered as one of the most experimental and courageous printmakers of the 20th century.
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“Africa Suite #10"
Colour Screenprint on J.B. green paper
Initialed and dated in pencil, lower margin
Artist’s blind stamp lower right
From an edition of 150
40.75"H 28.25"W (work)
Very good condition.
Published by Marlborough Graphics, Inc., New York.
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