Robert Motherwell, ‘Remembering Madrid’, 1969, Lillian Heidenberg Fine Art

Alternative Title: Open no. 106
Artist’s studio number: P69/80-1145

The first composition on this canvas, a horizontal blue painting titled Open No. 106, was completed in the summer of 1969. That painting was included in travelling exhibitions in the United States in 1969-70, and in Europe in 1971. Motherwell had begun to experiment with altering Open form in this work in 1974 (as per studio inventory photo). But it was not until 1980 that he reoriented the canvas, repainted it, and gave it the title Remembering Madrid, a reference to his recent trip to Madrid, which he had last visited in 1958.

Signature: Inscriptions: Recto, upper right: RM Verso, oriented horizontally [painted over]:[illegible] Verso, oriented horizontally: Summer, 1969 Verso: “Rembering Madrid”\R.Motherwell\1980 A/Y#21936

Toledo Museum of Art, Ohao, Paintings and Collages by Robert Motherwell, 1969, cat. No. 19 (shown in early state), as Open No. 106 Galerie im Erker, St. Gallen, Robert Motherwell: Bilder und Collagen, 1967-1970, 1971, cat. no. 3, colour illus. p. 33 (in exhibition); (shown in early state), as Open No. 106. This exhibition later travelled to Kunstverein Freiburg, Freiburg. Galerie Lelong, Paris, Robert Motherwell: Spanish Frontier, 14 December – 26 January 2007.

Flam, Jack, Katy Rogers and Tim Clifford. Robert Motherwell Paintings and Collages: A Catalogue Raisonné, 1941-1991. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012. Reproduced in color, vol. 2, p. 485 as plate no. P998

Dedalus Foundation, New York, 1991

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