Robert Motherwell


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.   
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. 

Today, 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.

"In Celebration" was commissioned by the Stanford Law School in 1975. It is one of several notable works that Motherwell created in collaboration with master printer Ken Tyler (at Tyler Graphics Ltd.) 

Click here for another example of their collaboration created in 1980 at Tyler Graphics Ltd.

This dynamic piece features elongated strips of unmodulated color, filling the image with alternating vertical and horizontal planes. In typical Motherwell fashion, "In Celebration" showcases bold, black shapes against a powerful field of saturated red.

The simplicity of this work, like many of this era, seems to balance the spirit of abstract expressionism with minimalism.

Collage was an important element of Motherwell's practice and influenced how he made prints, particularly in the late 1970s and into the 80s. While red is a dominant color in Motherwell's prints, and arguably the most sought after by collectors, here we see the red background both enhanced and concealed by collage-like elements. 

Questions about this artwork? Contact us or call +1.416.704.1720

"In Celebration"

USA, 1975

Offset lithograph on Rives BFK paper

Signed and numbered in pencil lower left, signed in plate upper right

From an edition of 200

24"H 12"W (image)

36"H 25"W (sheet)

Very good condition.

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