6 March — 12 May 2019
Barakat Contemporary is pleased to announce Robert Motherwell – Elegy.
Robert Motherwell was one of the leaders in Abstract Expressionism, the most revolutionary movement in 20thcentury contemporary art. He was one of the first-generation of Abstract Expressionist group known as the New York School alongside Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Mark Rothko. Motherwell is also known as an artist who have made a milestone beyond his work by introducing American to European contemporary art, Dadaism in particular.
In 1948, Motherwell began the series, Elegy to the Spanish Republic, which became his most celebrated work. Intended as a work of mourning for the Spanish Civil War, it acquired the “elegy” name later on; the series would be seen as the best example of the artist’s approach to Abstract Expressionist painting. Consisting of different combinations of vertical rectangles or lines and ovals in black and white, the series share a profound philosophical message about life and death, inviting viewers to experience the power of all living things through consolation and meditation.
His artistic body of work regarded as representation of the very essence of 20thcentury modernist painting. Clement Greenberg, one of the most Influential critics of American modernism, described Motherwell as “the very best of the Abstract Expressionist painters.” Robert Motherwell’s paintings and artistic approach would prove influential to many later artists.
Robert Motherwell was born on January 24, 1915 in Aberdeen and he studied philosophy and French symbolist literature at Stanford University, received a doctoral degree from Harvard University and art history at Columbia University. He started to paint in earnest at the age of 24, in January 1939 and as a painter, an author, a planner, and a critic, Motherwell participated in nearly all activities linked to modernism centering on New York City and made contributions as a key figure.
Motherwell’s works are belongs to major museum’s collection such as Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum New York, Museum of Modern Art (MoMa), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, National Museum of Art Washington, Basel Museum of Art, Hara Museum of Art, Tate, Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, Smithsonian Museum of Art, Ireland Museum of Contemporary Art, Paul Getty Museum of Art, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary art.