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Artist Name:

Robert Motherwell

Nationality & Life Dates:

American, 1915–1991






Mixed media


30 x 38 inches

Credit Line:

Purchase with funds from Alfred Austell Thornton in memory of Leila Austell Thornton and Albert Edward Thornton, Sr., and Sarah Miller Venable and William Hoyt Venable and gift of the Dedalus Foundation

Accession Number:



© Dedalus Foundation, Inc. / Licensed by VAGA, New York

On View - Stent Family Wing, Skyway Level, Gallery 404
Recurring themes in Robert Motherwell’s work offer a continual reminder of the influence of World War II, most notably in the Spanish Elegy series. Part of that series, Barcelona is a simple composition that reflects the elegy, among several other key motifs. According to Motherwell, “The ‘Elegies’ were named instinctively, intuitively, after the fact, not programmed rationally.” Although he had not visited Spain, he was able to summon an evocation of it to express the basic human emotions that would serve as a touchstone for his work. Motherwell’s art is a timely, seasoned, and poignant pursuance of modern life, echoing man’s existential struggle to infuse meaning into life.

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