Friday, 23 September 2011

Robert Motherwell at Bernard Jacobson, first 'Works on Paper' in the UK

Robert Motherwell, 'Red Open', 1980, Acrylic/charcoal on canvas, 35.6 x 45.7 cm
The significance of Robert Motherwell is well-known, he is very popular at Abstraktion for the diversity of his ideas in drawing, painting, collage. It is hard to believe that this is the first exhibition of his works on paper in the United Kingdom and well done Bernard Jacobson Gallery, 6 Cork Street, London. This show is open from 11 October to 26 November 2011.  

Robert Motherwell was a major figure in the and development of Abstract Expressionism and the youngest member of the ‘New York School’, a term he coined. I explored his use of Zen Buddhist ideas and iconography for my thesis and realsied how broad and deep his influence was on his time and since. Yet he remains the lesser known of the Abstract Expressionist movement.

Robert Motherwell 'Beside the Sea No. 45', 1967, Acrylic/ink on paper, 76.5 x 54.9 cm
'His career spanned five decades during which time he created some of the most iconic images of the 20th century. A passionate advocate and articulate spokesman for Abstract Expressionism, he believed that ideas and emotions were best communicated through the bold forms and gestural lines of abstract art. This exhibition will include sixty works from the 'Lyric Suite', a group of works from the 'Beside the Sea' series and a selection of works based upon James Joyce’s 'Ulysses' as well as an abstract portrait of the poet. A further selection of works from the 1940s to the 1980s includes 'Elegy' and 'Je t’aime' as well as automatism drawings, work from the 'Drunk with Turpentine', 'Gesture' and the 'Open' series.

Bernard Jacobson Gallery held the first exhibition in Britain of Robert Motherwell’s 'Open' series in 2008, and in 2013 the gallery will hold an exhibition of the collages. In 2015, to coincide with Motherwell’s centenary of his birth, they will have a major exhibition of paintings.' Robert Motherwell we salute you...

Robert Motherwell, 'The Measure of Things,1979Oil on gesso panel, 17.8 x 33.6 cm


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Thanks for sharing!

    Pete: The paintings of Motherwell are certainly NOT about placing a signature on the front of a painting!
    (I cannot stand empty comments).

  3. Let's stay calm about this, guys! Motherwell does stir up interesting responses. I read Motherwell as someone who understands the power of the mark, how to use symbols and calligraphic gestures, so even if he has signed his name, it's not about the signature, but the name as a symbol, as an abstract image..

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  5. Pete and David: Sorry! My comment was perhaps a bit sharp. It was not my intention to offend anyone.

  6. Bonjour David, Là je souris sans être narquois,amicalement; abstraire mais signer n'est ce pas figurer? trêve d'hypocrisie :-) même dieu fit appel à des prophètes faisant offices de signatures, pourtant tout ce qu'il a créé,(la connerie par exemple) est bien inimitable; Robert Motherwell va au delà du nombrilisme de notre époque, son geste car c'est un geste est nourri de sens :-)

  7. I think I phrased my original comment
    incorrectly. I simply have a pet peeve
    about signatures on the face of a
    painting or drawing and that in no way
    was a shot at Motherwell...;)

  8. Curiously somewhere there is a Peter Hoge that loves signatures on the face of paintings and hates Motherwell.:-)

  9. A la pintura!

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