The Writings of Robert Motherwell / Edition 1

The Writings of Robert Motherwell / Edition 1

by Robert Motherwell

"Robert Motherwell was not just a great painter, he was a brilliant thinker. As the founding editor of The Documents of Twentieth-Century of Art, he decisively shaped our understanding of modernism. This new and expanded selection of Motherwell's criticism provides an essential guide to the art of the high modern period, both American andSee more details below


"Robert Motherwell was not just a great painter, he was a brilliant thinker. As the founding editor of The Documents of Twentieth-Century of Art, he decisively shaped our understanding of modernism. This new and expanded selection of Motherwell's criticism provides an essential guide to the art of the high modern period, both American and European."—Pepe Karmel, author of Picasso and the Invention of Cubism

"In the past two decades Abstract Expressionism has become one of the most dynamic subjects in art history; sometimes the reading is so dense it is like swimming through peanut butter. But, cutting through to the essential questions that generated the movement, the writings of Robert Motherwell are a treasure. Written at the same time he was painting, Motherwell's texts make me feel like a witness to the philosophical curiosity that generated one of the most powerful art movements of the twentieth century."—Michael Auping, author of Abstract Expressionism: The Critical Developments

“This book is essential reading for anyone thinking about the uneasy clash of modernism and postmodernism in postwar America; Motherwell’s writing played a decisive role and this volume is an admirably full account of it.”—Jonathan Fineberg, author of When We Were Young: New Perspectives on the Art of the Child

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Product Details

University of California Press
Publication date:
Documents of Twentieth-Century Art Series
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.13(d)

Meet the Author

Dore Ashton is Professor of Art History at the Cooper Union and author or editor of over 30 books on modern art and culture, including Noguchi East and West, The New York School: A Cultural Reckoning, A Fable of Modern Art, and A Critical Study of Philip Guston, all from UC Press. Joan Banach worked with Robert Motherwell from 1981 to 1991. She is an artist who lives in New York.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction   Dore Ashton     1
Note on Mondrian and Chirico, 1912     15
Review of Art of this Century, ca. 1943     20
Note on Modern Art, ca. 1943     23
Preface to Apollinaire's the Cubist Painters, 1944     24
The Modern Painters World, 1944     27
Plate Caption in Abstract and Surrealist Art in America, 1944     36
Review of Calder's Three Young Rats, 1944     38
Painters' Objects, 1944     40
Preface to Mondrian's Plastic Art and Pure Plastic Art, 1945     44
Personal Statement, 1945     46
Review of Henry Moore's Sculpture and drawings, 1945     48
Preface to Paalen's Form and Sense, ca. 1945     50
Statement, 1946     53
Beyond the Aesthetic, 1946     54
Statement, 1947     57
Editorial Preface to Possibilities I, 1947     58
Prefatory Note to Max Ernst: Beyond Painting, 1948     59
Prefatory Note to Jean Arp's on my Way, 1948     61
A Tour of the Sublime, 1948     63
Preliminary Notice to Apollinaire's: The Cubist Painters, 1949     67
Preliminary Notice to Kahnweiler's: The Rise of Cubism, 1949     69
Preliminary Notice to Raymond's: From Baudelaire to Surrealism, 1949     72
A Personal Expression, 1949     75
Reflections on Painting Now, 1949     81
Abstract Art and the Real, 1949     85
Black or White, 1950     86
For David Smith, 1950     88
Preface to Duthuit's the Fauvist Painters, 1950     89
The New York School, 1950     93
Expressionism, ca. 1950     99
A Statement and Introduction to the Illustrations in Modern Artists in America, 1951     101
Notes on CY Twomely, 1951     103
Preface and Introduction to the DADA Painters and Poets, 1951     104
Preface ["The School of New York"], 1951     154
Postscript to the Preface ["The School of New York"], 1951     156
What Abstract Art Means to Me, 1951     158
The Rise and Continuity of Abstract Art, 1951     160
Apropos "Traditional" and "Modern" Methods of Teaching Art, 1952     162
Is the French Avant-Garde Overrated? 1953     166
Preface to a Joseph Cornell Exhibition, 1953     168
Symbolism, 1954     170
The Painter and the Audience, 1954     176
Of Form and Content, ca. 1954     180
The Artist and Modern Society, 1955      181
The Artist's Life, 1956     185
Notes on Bradley Walker Tomlin, 1957     186
The Significance of MIRO, 1959     188
Lecture with Charles R. Hulbeck, 1959     194
Statement for "Conversations with Artists," 1960     198
What Should a Museum Be? 1961     202
Painting as Existence: An Interview with David Sylvester, 1962     205
Homage to Franz Kline, 1962     212
A Process of Painting, 1964     214
David Smith: A Major American Sculptor, 1965     218
Plate Caption for the Stedelijk Museum Catalogue, 1966     222
Statement, 1967     224
On Jackson Pollock, 1967     225
On Rothko, 1967     230
On the "Lyric Suite," 1969     232
Interview and Letter to Michel Ragon, 1969     236
Statement on the "Open" Series, 1969     243
Motherwell Muses, 1969     245
Thoughts on Drawing, 1970     247
On the Humanism of Abstraction: The Artist Speaks, 1970     250
Statements Before Congress, 1970     256
The Universal Language of Children's Art, and Modernism, 1970     266
On Rothko, a Eulogy, 1970     271
Introduction to Cabanne's Dialogues    Marcel Duchamp, 1971     275
Statement on Radicalism in the Visual Arts, 1971     280
A Recollection of David Smith and the 1950s, 1972     282
Introduction to the Journal of Eugene Delacroix, 1972     286
Statement on Picasso, 1974     288
The New York School (and Symbolism), ca. 1976     289
Art and Reality, ca. 1976     290
Parisian Artists in Exile: New York 1939-45, 1977     291
Provincetown and Days Lumberyard: A Memoir, 1978     308
Words of the Painter, 1978     312
Presentation of an Award to Erick Hawkins, 1979     315
The International World of Modernist Art, 1980     317
Notes for a Joyce Symposium, 1980     319
In Memoriam: Anthony Smith, 1981     323
Journal Entry, ca. 1981     325
Reflections on Abstract Art, 1982     327
Foreword to William C. Seitz's Abstract Expressionist Painting in America, 1983     331
Kafka's Visual Recoil: A Note (for Dore Ashton), 1983     336
Animating Rhythm, 1984     339
Response: When is a Painting Finished? 1985     340
On Not Becoming an Academic, 1986     343
A Personal Recollection, 1986     346
Nomination of Jasper Johns to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, 1988     351
Bibliography Compiled   Katy Rogers     353
List of Illustrations     367
Index     369

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