Exposition Art Blog: Robert Motherwell - American Abstract Expressionism

Robert Motherwell - American Abstract Expressionism

Robert Motherwell (January 24, 1915 – July 16, 1991) was an American painter, printmaker, and editor. He was one of the youngest of the New York School, which also included Philip Guston, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, and Mark Rothko.
It was Matta who introduced Motherwell to the concept of "automatic" drawings. The Surrealists often deployed the process of automatism, or abstract “automatic” doodling to tap into their unconscious. This concept had a lasting effect on Motherwell, but it was conceptually changed, when Motherwell met Wolfgang Paalen in Mexico and decided to prolong his stay and to spend several months in his studio. Motherwell's famous Mexican Sketchbook visually reflect this conceptual change: while the first drawings are somehow analyzing copies of examples by Matta and Yves Tanguy, the drawings, done in Paalen's atelier or during his studies with Paalen show more plane graphic cadences, swelling ink-spots as a pictorial access to yet unseen or possible figurations, remembering the fumage-spots which also relinquished traditional aspects of perspective and suggested swelling ephemeral shapes.(Wikipedia)
“Painting is a medium in which the mind can actualize itself; it is a medium of thought,” he once reflected. “Thus painting, like music, tends to become its own content.”

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