Robert Motherwell

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Robert Motherwell (born January 24, 1915 in Aberdeen , Washington , † July 16, 1991 in Provincetown , Massachusetts ) was an American painter of Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism .

life and work

Motherwell studied philosophy from 1932 to 1938, first at the California School of Fine Arts and then at Stanford University , where he graduated with a bachelor's degree . He also studied philosophy and French literature at Harvard University . After a two-year stay in Paris from 1938 to 1939 , where he made friends with the later European artists in exile, Piet Mondrian and Fernand Léger , Motherwell studied art history in New York at Columbia University with Meyer Schapiro and Kurt Seligmann . In 1940 he met Robert Matta , with whom he took a trip to Mexico that same year , where he met the Austrian surrealist Wolfgang Paalen . After several months with Paalen, he returned to New York in 1941, where he helped Paalen to propagate his counter-surrealist ideas and worked on his art magazine DYN . In 1945 he taught at Black Mountain College , North Carolina . Between 1951 and 1958 Motherwell was a lecturer at Hunter College in New York.

His drawings and large-format paintings are characterized by dominant black punctuation. From the 1960s, there was an approach to Color Field Painting by Morris Louis . Motherwell was one of the most important exponents of American Abstract Expressionism. Mostly it is assigned to action painting , but it is considered to be the more “intellectual counterpart” to painters like Jackson Pollock . In 1947/1948 he founded the "Subjects of the Artists" school together with William Baziotes , Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman .

From 1958 to 1971 he was married to the painter Helen Frankenthaler . In 1972 he married the German photographer Renate Ponsold , with whom he remained in a relationship until his death.

Awards and honors

Exhibitions (selection)

Works (selection)


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Andreas Neufert: On love and death. The life of the surrealist Wolfgang Paalen . Parthas, Berlin 2015, pp. 441ff., 453ff. and 465ff.
  2. ^ A b The Dedalus Foundation's Robert Motherwell Scrapbooks , The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York, accessed February 17, 2015
  3. Past Academicians "M" / Motherwell, Robert ANA 1990 ( Memento of the original from September 23, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (accessed on July 4, 2015) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /