Robert Motherwell

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Robert Motherwell was a very prominent artist of the twentieth century. His paintings and prints are highly sought after by art collectors the world over. He attended Stanford University, studied philosophy at Harvard, and art history at Columbia University. Ultimately, his goal was to become a philosopher, which is reflected in his artwork, due to its underlying political and literary themes but his love for art lead him on a different path.

Motherwell would go on to use his prestigious educational background to his advantage. He was able to successfully network with individuals within the educational realm to develop his art career. He also utilized his vast wealth of information to become a lecturer. This allowed him to share his theories and ideas regarding the emotional and intellectual aspects of creating art and popularize the abstract expressionist movement.

His interest in art continued to grow and he held his first exhibition in Paris in the late 1930’s. In the early 1940’s, he began lecturing on modern art where he became associated with other individuals who were interested in the same field as art as he was. This would lead them to becoming a very influential group who would change the art scene of that time.

Motherwell was an integral part of the abstract expressionist movement, which was inspired by the surrealist movement in Europe. Essentially, he wanted to invoke emotions and thoughts that went beyond recognizable images and focused on a deeper level of intellect. Their work lead to a significant amount of criticism within the art community, due to their lack of regard for conventions and the definition of art. They sought out to break boundaries within the art world and to experiment with creating profound emotional responses. Although many other artists involved in the movement had a difficult time continuing their work, Robert Motherwell continued his work up until his death.

Some of Motherwell’s earliest works occurred when he took a trip to Mexico. There he created various pen and ink drawings, which he called the “Mexican Sketchbook”. He would soon after be asked to create collages for Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of This Century Gallery. This would help to propel his career and he would go on to utilize collage in many of his future works.

From there, Motherwell continued to impact the art scene of New York City and propel the abstract impressionist movement to the forefront of the community.

Overall, the art career of Robert Motherwell was a massive success. Not only in his artistic ability to invoke thoughts and evoke emotions, but also because of the influential capacity of his writing and teaching.

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