Robert Motherwell – Mediterranean (State II Yellow), 1975
Lithograph from four stones and one photo aluminum plate
Size: 46.5 x 31.5 inches
Frame size: 50 x 34.75 inches
Gallery label to reverse - Ameringer Yohe Gallery, New York, New York.
Provenance: Consignor states work was purchased from the Dedalus Foundation, New York, New York | From a single collection (ID: 4284), Palm Beach, Florida.
Condition: Very good
Certificate of AUthenticity included
One of the great American Abstract Expressionist painters, Robert Motherwell is remembered for his eloquence and intellect which undergirded his distinct visual language characterized by a strong political and literary content. For this academically brilliant artist, abstract art fulfilled "the need for felt experience—intense, immediate, direct, subtle, unified, warm, vivid, rhythmic."
Throughout his markedly pivotal and prolific career, the artist produced a highly esteemed body of prints which are both a testament to the heights of American Modernism and an ode to the medium’s variety and form. Fluid and collaborative, his printmaking process moved broadly between printmaking and other media he worked in, such as painting, drawing, and collage. He dedicated the latter half of his life to the medium, exploring what printmaking could do that painting couldn’t.
Many of Motherwell’s prints reflect the regions he visited. Such is the case with the piece "Mediterranean (State II Yellow)" from 1975. In this work, Motherwell juxtaposes a beautifully rendered map of the region with his signature abstract color fields. Deep blue and ochre dominate the composition, evoking the Mediterranean Sea and the brilliance and heat of the sunshine. Deeply poetic, this lithograph is imbued with a certain sense of serenity.
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About Robert Motherwell
One of the youngest members of the renowned New York School, Robert Motherwell is considered one of the great American Abstract Expressionist painters. Having an extensive formal education, he created expressive works which not only reflect a dialogue with art history, philosophy and contemporary art, but also the essential human condition.
While studying art history at the Columbia University, Motherwell met a group of exiled Parisian Surrealists, an encounter that proved influential in his style. Incorporating the idea of “automatism” into his work, he pioneered a new form of Abstract Expressionism characterized by an intuitive approach to painting. His works are characterized by simple shapes in boldly contrasting colors, executed in a dynamic balance between restrained and boldly gestural brushstrokes. In addition to painting, he was also an accomplished printmaker and an avid collagist.
Having an esteemed intellect and being well versed in literature, philosophy and the European modernist traditions, Motherwell was one of the leading writers, theorists, and advocates of the New York School.
In 1981, the artist founded the Motherwell Foundation, today existing under the name Dedalus Foundation, aimed at fostering, cultivating and supporting public understanding and appreciation of the principles of modern art expressed through the theories of modernism. In addition to devoting special care and attention to Motherwell’s own artistic legacy, the foundation continues to initiate and support a number of projects related to modern art and the principles of modernism, including the annual Robert Motherwell Book Award.
Motherwell is best known for his “Elegy to the Spanish Republic”, a series of 140 paintings memorializing the injustices of the Spanish Civil War, which he worked on throughout his life.
Robert Motherwell was born in Aberdeen, Washington in 1915 and spent a significant amount of his career in New York. In 1957, he met Helen Frankenthaler whom he married three years later. He died in Cape Cod, Massachusetts in 1991.