Robert Motherwell, ‘El Negro’, 1983, Bernard Jacobson Gallery

Rafael Alberti
translation by Vincente Lleo Canal
Format: illustrated book
Images: 24 leaves consisting of 19 original lithographs, 1half-title and 1 title page, and 3 sheets of text in 3 sizes; single sheets measure 15 x 15 in (38.1 x 38.1 cm); double sheets folded once measure 15 x 25 3/4 in (38.1 x 65.4 cm); triple sheets folded twice measure 15 x 37 3/4 in (38.1 x 95.9 cm). The image used for the front and back endleaves is identical and is printed on sheets measuring 15 x 25 3/4 in (38.1 x 65.4 cm) and 15 x 29 in (38.1 x 73.7 cm) respectively. The paper is white Tyler Graphic Limited (TGL) handmade.
The lithographs are paired with lines from Rafael Alberti's poem "Negro Motherwell" (spring 1980). The book includes a preface by Jack D. Flam following the title page.
Housing: The pages of the book are bound into a natural buckram-covered clamshell box fabricated by Walden/Lang Company, New York. The box measures 17 x 16 5/8 x 2 1/4 in (43.2 x 42.2 x 5.7 cm). The pages are held in place between buckram-covered metal bars with four screw post fasteners that allow the pages to be removed for exhibition. The buckram is scored in flaps above the screws. The title "El Negro" is stamped on the front cover in black. The spine of the book is stamped "'El Negro'Alberti -Motherwell /Tyler Graphics Ltd." and includes the publisher logo.
Typeface: Bodoni Bold; typography by Antoni Drobinski and Roberta Savage, Emworth Studios, New York; typesetting by Stamfort Typesetting Corporation, Stamford, Connecticut.
Signature: Signed "Motherwell" in black ink lower centre on colophon page.

Siri Engberg and Joan Banach 'Robert Motherwell: The Complete Prints 1940-1991. Catalogue Raisonne', Walker Art Center and Hudson Hills Press, New York, 2003, cat no. 308.1-.21 p.254

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