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About the publication:

Robert Motherwell (1915-1991), was the youngest member of the first wave of Abstract Expressionists known as the New York School (a name he coined), which also included Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning and Barnett Newman. An articulate writer, Motherwell was pegged early on as the intellectual of the group. His career spanned five decades during which time he created some of the most iconic images of the twentieth century.

In this monograph, published to coincide with Motherwell's centenary, Bernard Jacobson takes a broader approach and examines Motherwell’s art in the context of American culture of the twentieth century. America’s music and literature were indigenous triumphs, while its art was slowly learning to become American. Imitation metamorphosed into resistance, soon to be named Abstract Expressionism, an art of raw feelings without subject matter other than itself. Motherwell’s career and achievement were more slow-burning than most. Unlike his colleagues, many of whom killed themselves or died young, he was always the intellectual, an Apollonian among Dionysiacs, and was able to create a considerable body of work that is only now, twenty-five years after his death, beginning to be unraveled, understood and fully appreciated. 

Published by 21 Publishing, an independent illustrated art book publishing company. It is a co-venture set up by David Bowie, Sir Timothy Sainsbury, gallery-owner Bernard Jacobson, and Karen Wright, a former editor of Modern Painters.