Robert Motherwell was an American artist and leading Abstract Expressionist painter. Influenced by the automatism put forth by Surrealism—or the intuitive, fortuitous impulse to create art—Motherwell’s paintings are characterized by their impulsive, intuitive approach. He is perhaps best known for his iconic Elegy to the Spanish Republic series, where the artist painted over 150 variants of large black forms onto white backgrounds. Born on January 24, 1915 in Aberdeen, WA, Motherwell moved to New York to study at Columbia University with the art historian Meyer Schapiro, who encouraged Motherwell to paint. During the early 1940s he would go on to meet the likes of William Baziotes, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and others who were part of the New York School. Motherwell also taught Cy Twombly and Robert Rauschenberg at the famed Black Mountain College in 1951, and continued to lecture, write, and edit for the rest of his career. He died on July 16, 1991 in Cape Cod, MA at the age of 76.
- "Robert Motherwell." Fine Art, Decorative Art, and Design. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 June 2016.