Robert Motherwell, ‘The Balkan Lute’, Christie's

Robert Motherwell (1915-1991)

The Balkan Lute

signed and dated twice 'Motherwell / May 75' (lower left and upper right)

acrylic, pasted canvas, pasted paper and china marker on canvas mounted on board

72 x 36 in. (182.8 x 91.4 cm.)

Executed in 1974-75.

Signature: signed and dated twice 'Motherwell / May 75' (lower left and upper right)

Los Angeles, Ace Gallery, Robert Motherwell: Major Paintings and Collages, July-August 1975.

Hannover, Galerie Brusberg, André Emmerich bei Brusberg, June-August 1977.

H.H., Arnason, Robert Motherwell, New York, 1977, n.p. and p. 86, pls. 269 and 292 (illustrated in color).

Motherwell, Barcelona, Centro Cultural de la Caixa de Pensions, exh. cat., 1980, n.p. (illustrated)

F. C. Serraller, "Robert Motherwell: La guerra civil espanõla fue un símbolo para mi generación", El Pais, Madrid, April 18, 1980, p. 32.

H.H. Arnason, ed., Robert Motherwell, New York, 1982, pp. 85 and 87, no. 86 (illustrated in color).

J. Flam, K. Rogers, and T. Clifford, eds., Robert Motherwell: Paintings and Collages, A Catalogue Raisonné, 1941-1991, Volume 3, New Haven and London, 2012, p. 248, no. C523 (illustrated in color).

Private collection, 1980

Private collection, California, 1980

Acquired from the above by the present owner

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