Robert Motherwell - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session New York Wednesday, May 16, 2018 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private Collection (acquired in 1974)
    Sotheby's, New York, November 11, 1986, lot 215
    Acquired from the above sale by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Princeton University Art Museum, Robert Motherwell, recent work, January 5 - February 17, 1973

  • Literature

    Jack Flam, Katy Rogers and Tim Clifford, eds., Robert Motherwell Paintings and Collages: A Catalogue Raisonné, 1941-1991, Volume 3, Collages and Paintings on Paper and Paperboard, New Haven, 2012, no. C354, p. 177 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    "They [collages] can’t be connected with objects from the everyday world, yet they are not just vague… It’s abstract like certain kinds of music in the sense that you’re not tied to any story or image."
    Robert Motherwell

  • Artist Biography

    Robert Motherwell

    American • 1915 - 1991

    One of the youngest proponents of the Abstract Expressionist movement, Robert Motherwell rose to critical acclaim with his first solo exhibition at Peggy Guggenheim's Art of This Century gallery in 1944. Not only was Motherwell one of the major practicing Abstract Expressionist artists, he was, in fact, the main intellectual driving force within the movement—corralling fellow New York painters such as Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Hans Hoffman and William Baziotes into his circle. Motherwell later coined the term the "New York School", a designation synonymous to Abstract Expressionism that loosely refers to a wide variety of non-objective work produced in New York between 1940 and 1960.

    During an over five-decade-long career, Motherwell created a large and powerful body of varied work that includes paintings, drawings, prints and collages. Motherwell's work is most generally characterized by simple shapes, broad color contrasts and a dynamic interplay between restrained and gestural brushstrokes. Above all, it demonstrates his approach to art-making as a response to the complexity of lived, and importantly felt, experience.

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German Line #2

signed with the artist's initials and dated "RM 72" lower left
acrylic and pasted papers on canvas board
30 x 12 in. (76.2 x 30.5 cm.)
Executed in 1972.

$60,000 - 90,000 

Sold for $137,500

Contact Specialist
John McCord
Head of Day Sale, Morning Session
New York
+1 212 940 1261

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session

New York Auction 16 May 2018