Robert Motherwell

Born: 1915 – Aberdeen, Washington and died 1991. Robert Motherwell showed signs of great promise early on, earning a scholarship to learn art at only eleven years old. At this time he wished to pursue academic studies and ended up studying aesthetics at Stanford and Harvard universities. It wasn’t until 1941, after being introduced to the works of Max Ernst, Yves Tanguy, and André Masson, that he decided to pursue a life of art. Motherwell found great influence from Surrealism at this time however, his works followed no single style. Much of what he created at this time was that of abstract figurative works derived from the Surrealist style. In 1949 his first collection “Elegy to the Spanish Republic” was finished and earned him high praise. Later, in the 60’s, Motherwell began to experiment with many styles where paintings such as “Africa” were depicted with large detail and refined calligraphy and “Indian Summer, #2” showed the newly arising Color Field Painting style. Motherwell gained high popularity in the art world and is sometimes said to be the most articulate spokesman for Abstract Expressionism.