Robert Motherwell, ‘The Big A’, 1986-1987, Christie's

Signature: signed and dated 'Motherwell 86' (upper right); signed and dated again 'R. Motherwell 1987' (on the reverse)

New York, Knoedler and Co., Robert Motherwell: Major Works from the 1980’s, May 1987, no. 1.

New York, Lawrence Rubin/Greenberg Van Doren Fine Art, Robert Motherwell: Abstract Imagist, April-June 2001, no. 10 (illustrated in color on the cover).

B. Ruhe, "Motherwell at Knoedler," Art/World 11, no. 8, 1987, p. 6.

J. Flam, K. Rogers and T. Clifford, eds., Robert Motherwell, Paintings and Collages, A Catalogue Raisonné 1941-1991, Volume Two: Paintings on Canvas and Panel, New Haven and London, 2012, p. 543, no. P1136 (illustrated in color).

Private collection, New York, 1987

Acquired from the above by the present owner, 2001

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