"It may be that the deep necessity of art is the examination of self-deception." Robert Motherwell

1915-91 American painter, fairly well known among the 20th Century Painters, at least inside the states.

Early in his career he associated with the Surrealist movement, although he never actually was considered a Surrealist.

He was one of the then 'unknown' artists championed by Peggy Guggenheim's Art of This Century Gallery. Some sources say it was he who introduced Jackson Pollock to Peggy. But as Pollock's star began to rise, it left less room for Motherwell, so he departed Guggenheim's group and moved to a different gallery to get his work shown.

He's considered the youngest artist associated with Abstract Expressionism. Other artists in this group included: Pollock, Willem De Kooning, Franz Kline, Clyfford Still, Mark Rothko, Helen Frankenthaler, Hans Hoffmann and William Baziotes.

He taught at Black Mountain College as a result of John Cage's urging.

In 1947 he and Harold Rosenberg put out a publication called "Possibilities."

In 1951 he published a series of books which included a very famous and influential work called, The Dada Painters and Poets. It included a lot of source material, the original Manifestoes, writings by the Dadas themselves, etc. This had great influence on many other working artists at the time. It was out of print for some time and was recently reprinted.

Other titles in the series included:

The Documents of 20th Century Art

People associated with him at one time or another include:

His work may be found in the permanent collections of:


Selected Sources: Motherwell, Robert "The Dada Painters and Poets: An Anthology", Harvard University Press, 1951 Rubin, William S., "Dada, Surrealism, and Their Heritage", Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1968 Duberman, Martin. "Black Mountain: An Exploration in Community", W.W.Norton, 1993 Last Updated 04.10.04

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