From Stella Rosa McDonald…
Robert Motherwell said out loud that he wanted to be a painter. Motherwell’s father — distressed at the thought of his literate, charming and well-dressed son fading away amongst turpentine and paint pots — made him a deal. Go to Harvard and get a PhD, it didn’t matter what in as long as afterwards he could teach, and for the rest of his life he would give him fifty dollars a week to do as he pleased. The sum was generous enough that he wouldn’t starve and modest enough that he wouldn’t be tempted to last. Years later, PhD in one hand and more than likely a few fifties in the other, Motherwell became the youngest of The New School artists as a peer of Pollock, De Kooning and Rothko.
In this survey, Motherwell’s gestural, spontaneous and emotive prints, collages and paintings appear as both practical and emphatically human. The story of his father’s ultimatum seems indicative of the contradictions present in these works;singular and expressive abstractions made with the steadiness and exactitude of a printmaker’s hand. And yet as much variety as there is in each one, each variation is somehow comparative, revealing the precise and erudite mind behind the hand.
Until October 4
Annandale Galleries, Annandale
Pic: Robert Motherwell, America – La France Variations I, 1984, lithograph and collage, 118.1 x 81.6 cmAP, II Edition of 70. Courtesy of Annandale Galleries.