Robert Motherwell’s Dover Beach No. III, currently showing at the Bernard Jacobson Gallery.
Works from Robert Motherwell’s Open series are on display at the Bernard Jacobson Gallery in London through August 28. Motherwell worked on the series for nearly two decades, and this exhibition presents part of that collection. The show is timed to coincide with the release Robert Motherwell: Open, a book on the series from 21 Publishing.
Bernard Jacobson Gallery
Robert Motherwell at Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London [ArtInfo]
A pioneer of the New York School, Motherwell has always been cognizant in his work of “a state of anxiety that is obliquely recorded in the inner tensions of the finished canvas.” This series is no different. “Open” comments on the duality of content and absence, the assertion of product and recession of space, in any creation. Even the name of the series points to its spatial focus: Motherwell has called it “open,” so that the art is open spatially, inducing a give-and-take between product and the space it overlays (which, in some sense, closes the art as well).
Robert Motherwell, Open No. 161: In Beige and Black. Via ArtInfo.
Robert Motherwell, Open No. 148. Via The City Review.
Robert Motherwell, Open No. 156, via Area of Design.
“Each picture,” he has said, “is only an approximation of what you want… You can never make the absolute statement, but the desire to do so as an approximation keeps you going.” A writer and theorist, Motherwell has been called “one of the very best of the Abstract Expressionists” by art critic and New York School advocate Clement Greenberg, before he died of a stroke in 1991.
Robert Motherwell’s Open 130: Charcoal on light Blue, via artnet.
Robert Mothwell’s Draughtman, at Bernard Jacobson Gallery.
Robert Motherwell’s Creature, at Bernard Jacobson Gallery.
Robert Motherwell’s The Measure of Things, at Bernard Jacobson Gallery.
At the age of 12, Robert Motherwell won a fellowship to the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. Motherwell studied philosophy and aesthetics at Stanford and Harvard, respectively, before moving to France in 1938. There he had his first show, before returning to the States to enroll at Columbia. Since then, the artist has shown at, among other venues, New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Royal Academy in London, and even at the Tamayo Museum in Mexico City, posthumously. He has taught at Oberlin College, Black Mountain College, Brown University, and Hunter College. Motherwell was awarded a National Medal of Arts at the White House in 1989. The Bavarian State Museum of Modern Art opened what was, at the time, the only gallery of works by a living artist, when it installed a permanent Motherwell Gallery in 1982. His work has been commissioned by East wing of the National Gallery of Art in Washington; the John F. Kennedy Federal Building in Boston; and the Stanford University Law School. A retrospective of his work launched in 1965 at MoMA subsequently toured Europe, while another, organized by the Buffalo Albright-Knox Gallery of Art made the rounds of American galleries before showing at the Guggenheim Museum in New York from 1984 to 1985.
Robert Motherwell, Untitled (Ultramarine and Ochre Open), at the Bernard Jacobson Gallery.
Robert Motherwell, Open No. 125, at the Bernard Jacobson Gallery.
Robert Motherwell, Open No. 151, at the Bernard Jacobson Gallery
Robert Motherwell, Premonition Open, with Flesh over Gray, at the Bernard Jacobson Gallery
Robert Motherwell, Red Open, at the Bernard Jacobson Gallery
Robert Motherwell, Alberti Suite No. 8 (Black), at the Bernard Jacobson Gallery
Robert Motherwell’s Great Wall of China 4, at the Bernard Jacobson Gallery.
- Rivka Fogel