Robert Motherwell


Robert Motherwell (1915-1991), alongside Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Willem de Kooning, were the essential American abstract painters that radically defined Modern painting and established New York City as the center of the art world for the second half of the 20th century.  

While Motherwell is known as one of the most important artists associated with Abstract Expressionism, he is also revered for his accomplishments as a printmaker. 

Motherwell was always searching for new techniques to express his ideas and aesthetic.

In the early 1970s, his artwork, across several media, began to incorporate material from daily life such as cigarette (or wine) label graphics.  "Gauloises", his preferred brand of cigarette, became one of the central elements of his compositions during the 1970's. 

"Gauloises" cigarettes were notoriously strong. The brand was also linked to glamorous cultural figures, like Pablo Picasso, and the French intellectual elite (including Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus).

Using such cigarette labels continued a tradition, established by Picasso and Braque during the heyday of Cubism, of using the detritus of daily life in their artwork.

Where the Cubists incorporated collage into the painted canvas, Motherwell similarly developed a process of collage incorporated into print while retaining the artistic gesture of Abstract Expressionist painting. 

Click here to see another example of cigarette packaging in Motherwell’s work.

Questions about this artwork? Contact us or call +1.416.704.1720

“Gauloises Bleues (White)”, 1970.

Color aquatint and line-cut with ULAE blindstamp lower left

Signed and numbered “trial proof” in pencil to margin

Published by Universal Limited Art Editions, West Islip, New York.

11”H 6.5”W (plate)

23”H 15.5”W (sheet)

Provenance: The Morris Gallery, Toronto (label verso) 

Literature: Bernard Jacobson, Robert Motherwell: The Making of an American Giant, 2015; Stephanie Terenzio, The Prints of Robert Motherwell: A Catalogue Raisonné 1943-1984, [1980] 1984.

- Where does the inventory ship from?
Our inventory is divided between New York and Toronto. 

- Where do you ship to?
We can ship anywhere. Typically when we ship within North America we prefer to use FedEx or DHL. To Europe, Asia and beyond we generally use DHL. 

- How much does it cost to ship?
For shipments within North America, we typically charge a flat rate fee. Many items on our site will list the rate. For shipping outside of North America, we can easily provide a quote and will look for the most efficient and economical option.

Most of the items on our site can be easily shipped internationally.

Occasionally we will recommend that an artwork be removed from its frame for shipping. Larger framed works are typically framed with plexiglass. We export over 80% of what we sell, so we are comfortable shipping anywhere. 

- Are there additional taxes or fees?
When a work is valued above $2,500 usd there is a possibility of tax of 0.35%, but this is applied sporadically. There can similarly be an additional fee for customs brokerage and this can range from $20 - $65. US Taxes, duties and customs brokerage are not included in our flat rate shipping. However most of our shipments to the US enter without any additional fees. 

- Do you provide a certificate of authenticity?
Yes, we guarantee everything we sell. We can provide both a digital and printed version of our certificate of authenticity. 

What is your return policy?
- Caviar20 wants you to be 100% satisfied with your purchase. We have a 7 day no-questions full refund return policy for your purchase. Shipping charges are non-refundable. Return shipping is the responsibility of the customer. After 8 days returns are given a credit note. There is no expiration for our credit notes.

- What payment methods do you accept?

If purchasing directly online, Caviar20 accepts all major credit cards as well as Paypal. If invoiced, Caviar20 accepts all major credit cards on regularly priced merchandise. 

Discounted material must be paid by wire transfer, or with Paypal (if funds are sent as 'friends and family'). There is a 3.5% administration fee for credit cards on discounted material. 

Caviar20 does not accept personal checks or Zelle. 

Canadian clients are welcomed and encouraged to pay with interac.
Please contact us directly at if interested in paying with a cryptocurrency (Bitcoin, Ethereum).


You may also like