Robert Motherwell



Robert Motherwell (1915-1991) is one of the essential American abstract painters that radically defined post-war abstraction in New York City.

Today, his work appears in museum collections around the world and is instantly recognizable for its boldness and black forms. His auction record was set in 2018 at $12.6 million USD.

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.

"America-La France Variations II" was created at Tyler Graphics in 1984 along with the rest of this iconic series.

In this dynamic print, Motherwell revels in the importance and beauty of collage in his approach to printmaking. Substituting heavy brush strokes for layers of ripped paper contrasted with more lines of color that appear to be created with a thick oil crayon, Motherwell creates an enigmatic and uplifting image through fragmentation and juxtaposition. 

Collage has been an important element in art-making since the Cubists employed it at the beginning of the 20th century, using scraps of newspaper or product labels. Similarly Motherwell included fragments of cigarette packages, wine labels and the packaging of artist materials (such as Arjomari paper in this work)

Like the best of Motherwell's prints this work was created with heavily textured handmade papers. The sky blue paper elements are similarly hand-made at Tyler Graphics Ltd. and collaged onto the sheet with naturally deckled edges. 

Caviar20 is excited to be offering this uplifting and bold Robert Motherwell from the America-La France Variations series. 

Questions about this artwork? Contact us or call +1.416.704.1720

"America-La France Variations II"

USA, 1984

Lithograph and collage

Signed by the artist, lower left

From an edition of 70

45.5"H 29"W (work)

48.5"H 32.5"W (framed)

Very good condition.

Published by Tyler Graphics Ltd.

Literature: "Robert Motherwell: The Complete Prints 1940-1991 Catalogue Raisonne" pg. 267.

Provenance: Kasmin (NYC) / The Dedalus Foundation

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