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ID: 500016415
Page Link: http://vocab.getty.edu/page/ulan/500016415

 
Record Type: Person
Motherwell, Robert (American painter, printmaker, and author, 1915-1991)

Note: Motherwell was a major figure of the Abstract Expressionist generation, his work encompassing the automatism of the Surrealists, the expressive brushworks of action painting, and the saturated hues of field painting. At the age of eleven, he was awarded a fellowship to the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, and went on to the California School of Fine Arts in 1932. He received his BA in philosophy from Stanford University in 1936. Motherwell began his career as a painter in 1939 in Paris, where he had his first solo exhibition, and studied art history from 1940 to 1941 at Columbia University in New York. There he met Roberto Matta, Meyer Schapiro, and other exiled European artists associated with Surrealism. Emotionally charged brushwork and severely structured abstract were painted during this period, but in 1943, Motherwell produced a series of dark, menacing works in Response to World War II. The work for which he is best known, the series "Elegy to the Spanish Republic XXXIV" (1953-1954), are large abstracts that reflect his generation's despair at the lost cause of the Spanish Civil War. During the 1950s, Motherwell spent most of his time lecturing and teaching, notably at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. It was during this time he worked on his most influential literary achievement, "The Dada Painters and Poets: An Anthology" (New York, 1951). In 1952, Motherwell and Ad Reinhardt produced the journal "Modern Artists in America." Motherwell and Helen Frankenthaler were married from 1958 to 1971. From 1968 to 1972, Mortherwell worked on a series of paintings called "Open," which reflected the new style of color field painting. His later works returned to more traditional Abstract Expressionist vocabulary.

Names:
Motherwell, Robert (preferred,V,index,LC)
Robert Motherwell (V,display)
Motherwell, Robert Burns (V)
Robert Burns Motherwell (V)

Nationalities:
American (preferred)

Roles:
artist (preferred)
painter
printmaker
lecturer
author
publisher
collagist
editor

Gender: male

Birth and Death Places:
Born:  Aberdeen (Grays Harbor county, Washington, United States) (inhabited place)
Died:  Cape Cod (Barnstable county, Massachusetts, United States) (peninsula)

Related People or Corporate Bodies:
collaborated with ....  Reinhardt, Ad  published Modern Artists in America in 1952
................................  (American painter, collagist, and writer, 1913-1967) [500013982]
fellow student of ....  Schapiro, Meyer  
..............................  (American art historian and teacher, 1904-1996) [500121208]
influenced ....  Sekula, Sonja  
....................  (Swiss artist, 1918-1963) [500199046]
spouse of ....  Frankenthaler, Helen  1958-1971
................  (American painter, 1928-2011) [500115813]
teacher at (person to institution) ....  Black Mountain College  
............................................................  (American liberal arts college, active 1933-1957) [500125890]
teacher of ....  De Staebler, Stephen  
..................  (American sculptor, 1933-2011) [500120879]
worked with ....  Banach, Joan  
....................  (American painter, born 1948) [500332281]

List/Hierarchical Position:
 ....  Persons, Artists
 ........  Motherwell, Robert (I)

Biographies:
(American painter, printmaker, and author, 1915-1991) ..... [VP Preferred]
(American painter, 1915-1991) ..... [BHA]
(American painter, b.1915) ..... [GRLPSC]
(American artist, 1915-) ..... [WCP]
(American artist, b.1915) ..... [WCI]
(American artist, 1915-1991) ..... [WL-Courtauld]
(American painter, 1915-1991) ..... [AVERY]
(American painter) ..... [AVERY]
(American painter, 1915-1991) ..... [Grove Art]
(artist) ..... [GRL]
(artist, active 20th century) ..... [GRISC]
(American artist, 1915-1991) ..... [MoMA]
(Unknown artist) ..... [GRISC]

Additional Names:

Sources and Contributors:
Motherwell, Robert ........ [AVERY Preferred, BHA Preferred, GRISC Preferred, GRL Preferred, GRLPA Preferred, Grove Art Preferred, MoMA, VP Preferred]
......................................  Artists, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) New York (2000-)
......................................  Avery Authority files (1963-)
......................................  Grove Art artist database (1989-)
......................................  Harald Szeemann papers, Finding Aid, GRI Special Collections (2011-)
......................................  Library of Congress Authorities database (n.d.) n 50006652
......................................  Library of Congress Authorities online (2002-) NAFL 50006652; accessed 28 February 2007
......................................  M. Knoedler & Co. records, Finding Aid, GRI Special Collections (2012-)
......................................  RILA/BHA (1975-2000)
Motherwell, Robert Burns ........ [AVERY, WCI Preferred, WCP Preferred, WL-Courtauld Preferred]
.................................................  Avery Authority files (1963-)
.................................................  Database for the Witt Checklist of Painters c. 1200-1976 (1978-)
.................................................  Witt Library, Authority files
Robert Burns Motherwell ........ [VP, WL-Courtauld]
...............................................  Getty Vocabulary Program rules
Robert Motherwell ........ [GRISC, GRL, MoMA Preferred, VP]
....................................  Artists, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) New York (2000-)
....................................  Getty Vocabulary Program rules
....................................  Harald Szeemann papers, Finding Aid, GRI Special Collections (2011-)

Subject: ........ [AVERY, BHA, Gallery Systems, GRISC, GRL, GRLPA, Grove Art, MoMA, VP, WCI, WCP, WL-Courtauld]
....................  Bénézit, Dictionnaire des Peintres (1976)
....................  Berkshire Eagle (18 July 1991)
....................  Bruce and Wells, Art and Context, the '50s and '60s (2006) 44
....................  Database for the Witt Checklist of Painters c. 1200-1976 (1978-)
....................  Gallery Systems (2000-) LOC ID: n50006652
....................  Getty Vocabulary Program rules
....................  Grove Art artist database (1989-)
....................  Grove Dictionary of Art online (1999-2002) "Motherwell, Robert." Accessed 04/02/02
....................  Harald Szeemann papers, Finding Aid, GRI Special Collections (2011-)
....................  Library of Congress Authorities database (n.d.) LOC ID: n50006652
....................  Library of Congress Authorities online (2002-) NAFL 50006652; accessed 28 February 2007
....................  M. Knoedler & Co. records, Finding Aid, GRI Special Collections (2012-)
....................  RILA/BHA (1975-2000)
....................  ULAN 500016415
....................  Who's Who in American Art (1936-) 1989
....................  Witt Library, Authority files
 
Note:
English .......... [AVERY, VP, WL-Courtauld]
.......... Bruce and Wells, Art and Context, the '50s and '60s (2006) 44
.......... Grove Dictionary of Art online (1999-2002) "Motherwell, Robert." Accessed 04/02/02
.......... ULAN 500016415
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