The youngest and most erudite of the Abstract Expressionists, Robert Motherwell (1915–1991) created a remarkable body of drawings in a wide range of techniques and styles over the course of his career.
His interest in drawing stemmed from a fascination with paper as a support and from a continuous search for a personal, spontaneous language of mark-making. Inspired by Surrealism and the practice of automatic drawing, Motherwell embraced the suggestive potential of his materials, blending the accidental and the intentional in the creative gesture, whether a stroke of the pen or the brush or a tear of paper.
This exhibition, the most comprehensive on the topic in decades, traces the full arc of Motherwell’s activity as a draftsman. His multifaceted practice was geared towards invention and variation, and while it evolved stylistically, it remained united by thematic continuities and his desire to draw “as fast as the mind itself.”
A fully illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition. The show is organized with the support of the Dedalus Foundation on the occasion of the forthcoming publication of the Motherwell catalogue raisonné devoted to the artist’s drawings.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website