Robert Motherwell

17 works from 1965 - 1989

12. October - 17. November 2023
W&K Galerie
Strauchgasse 2 | 1010 Wien
opening hours
Mon. - Fri, 10am - 6pm and by appointment
Robert Motherwell
Robert Motherwell was one of the most influential artists of American Abstract Expressionism. Born in Washington in 1915, he studied painting at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco and philosophy and French literature at Harvard University from 1932. After a two-year stay in Paris from 1938 to 1939, during which he also met Piet Mondrian and Fernand Léger, Motherwell studied art history at Columbia University with Meyer Schapiro and Kurt Seligmann. In the early 1940s, the artist developed his own distinctive style. He is considered one of the pioneers of Abstract Expressionism and contributed significantly to the international recognition of this art movement. He is widely regarded as the more "intellectual counterpart" to Jackson Pollock.

As part of the exhibition, Galerie Wienerroither & Kohlbacher presents both works on paper and paintings by the artist. A focal point of the exhibition is Robert Motherwell's "Lyric Suite," a series of works on paper that he created over the course of a few weeks in 1965. The drawings in Lyric Suite owe their strong sense of materiality in part to the delicate, translucent qualities of Unryu paper, which the artist purchased on impulse at a Japanese store in New York. Measuring 9 x 11 inches (27.9 x 22.9 cm), they represented a new challenge for the artist, whose monumental paintings helped shape the heroic imagery of Abstract Expressionism. They embody Motherwell's instinctive mastery of color and form, and were completed in a manner that borders on automatism and feeds on a complex interaction of the artist's recent ideas. Works from the "Lyric Suite" have been presented in numerous exhibitions worldwide and are now in the collection of MoMA and the Metropolitan Museum in New York, among others.