Robert MotherwellU.S. b. 1915
Africa Suite: Africa 10 81.0038
This series was among Motherwell's first efforts at silkscreen. The original studies for the suite came from ten large automatic brush drawings using ink on paper. The studies were then overpainted with acrylic and masked with white paper to achieve more of the effects of silhouettes. Motherwell was intrigued with the density of black forms against a light background. He had a postcard of the megalithic stones at Stonehenge silhouetted against a fading sky in his Greenwich, Connecticut studio. Motherwell studied at Stanford, Harvard, Columbia, and Grenoble, and also later in Paris. He returned to America in 1940 and resided in New York. As an Abstract Expressionist painter and printmaker, he pursued both divisions of the New York School-action and color field painting. African Suite combines the spontaneity of action painting with a sense of control defined by the strong, structural plane of color. Motherwell was highly prolific as an artist, teacher, writer, and editor. He taught at Black Mountain College and Columbia University, wrote many articles for art history periodicals, and is credited with setting much of the intellectual tone of Abstract Expressionism.
BACK TO COLLECTION