Robert Motherwell, ‘Country Life’, 1967, Lillian Heidenberg Fine Art

Artist’s Studio Number: C67-1496

The title of this work refers to part of an envelope with a mailing label (postmarked August 10, 1967) from Country Life, an English magazine that Motherwell was especially interested in at this time. In the catalogue to his 1972 collage retrospective at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Motherwell wrote: “Around this time, I began to dream of a country studio--- New York swallowed my time and energies---but near to either London or New York, and so subscribed to the British Country Life which carries numerous photographs of country places for let or sale (I ended up in Greenwich, Connecticut in January 1970 after 30 years in New York )” (Motherwell in Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, exh. cat. 1972, p. 76). Motherwell used Country Life mailing labels in three other collages (C180, C205, and C212.)

Signature: Recto, upper left: “RM 67”

Pierre Volboudt, “Perspectives de Robert Mothers,” XXe Siecle XXV, no. 40, June 1973, p. 84.
Robert Motherwell: A Catalogue Raisonne, 1941-1991.Vol 3. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012), 120, C188

The Dedalus Foundation
Private collection

About Robert Motherwell

Alongside Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell is considered one of the great American Abstract Expressionist painters. His esteemed intellect not only undergirded his gorgeous, expressive paintings—frequently featuring bold black shapes against fields of color—but also made Motherwell one of the leading writers, theorists, and advocates of the New York School. He forged close friendships with the European Surrealists and other intellectuals over his interests in poetry and philosophy, and as such served as a vital link between the pre-war avant-garde in Europe and its post-war counterpart in New York, establishing automatism and psychoanalysis as central concerns of American abstraction. "It's not that the creative act and the critical act are simultaneous," Motherwell said. "It's more like you blurt something out and then analyze it.

American, 1915-1991, Aberdeen, Washington, based in New York and Greenwich, Connecticut