Robert Motherwell - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale - Morning Session New York Wednesday, November 15, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Sidney Janis Gallery, New York
    Acquired from the above by the family of the present owner in 1959

  • Literature

    Hjorvardur Harvard Arnason, “Robert Motherwell: The Years 1948 to 1965”, Art International 10, no. 4, April 20, 1966, pp. 22, 29 (illustrated, p. 22)
    Robert C. Hobbs, “Motherwell’s Concern with Death in Painting: An Investigation of His Elegies to the Spanish Republic, Including an Examination of His Philosophical and Methodological Considerations”, Ph.D. dissertation, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1975, pl. 33, p. 246 (illustrated)
    Hjorvardur Harvard Arnason, Robert Motherwell, New York, 1977, p. 46
    Hjorvardur Harvard Arnason, Robert Motherwell, New York, 1982, p. 46
    Jack Flam, Katy Rogers and Tim Clifford, eds., Robert Motherwell Paintings and Collages: A Catalogue Raisonné, 1941-1991, Collages and Paintings on Paper and Paperboard, vol. 3, New Haven, 2012, no. W32, p. 422 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    "In the Elegies Motherwell invented a specific form of image, as a poet may be said to invent a particular poetic form, and also a kind of pictorial language..."
    (Jack Flam, Robert Motherwell 100 Years, Milan, 2015, p. 117)

  • 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.

    View More Works

The Modern Form: Property from the Collection of Betty and Stanley Sheinbaum


Elegy to the Spanish Republic No. 50

signed, inscribed, titled and dated ""Elegy to the Spanish Republic, no. 50" Robert Motherwell 1958 St-Jean-de-Luz, France" on the reverse
oil and ink on paperboard
8 5/8 x 10 5/8 in. (21.9 x 27 cm.)
Executed in 1958.

$300,000 - 500,000 

Sold for $325,000

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 15 November 2017