The Homely Protestant (II)

This work is painted in the typically lyrical style of Motherwell and many of his contemporaries. The title of the painting is related to a series of works, which are in homage to James Joyce (of whom Motherwell was a scholar).
An early version of The Homely Protestant (II) was consigned to Knoedler & Company under the title Ihr Könnt Unbesorgt Sterben (loosely translated, “You may die without fear”), which refers to a line from Bertolt Brecht’s 1920 poem “Grosser Dankchoral”. That early version of the work contained an ochre ground and a form drawn in charcoal that was similar to the line drawing Cathedral III (C660); the wirds ihr unbesor(gt) were written in white chalk across the canvas.
In 1988, Motherwell reworked that version of the painting, filling in one area with black paint, adding lavender paint to the upper left half, and changing the central forms. The work was exhibited in that state and with the present title at Knoedler & Company from April to May 1988. After it was returned to Motherwell in November 1989, he continued to make revisions. The final version, with red paint added over the lavender section, was completed in 1990. The Homely Protestant (II) was one of the last paintings by the artist before his death in 1991.

Signature: Signed with initials (RM) on the upper right side in charcoal Artist's studio number P80/88-2428

Knoedler & Company, New York, Robert Motherwell: The Summer 1987 Collage Series; "The Red and Black" and other Unexhibited Works, 1988, no. 5 (shown in early state)
Acme Fine Arts, Boston, The New York School: Modern Paintings at Mod Century, 2003.
Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London, Robert Motherwell: A Centenary Survey of Major Works, 24 January - 25 April 2015

Kingsley, A. "New Work: Baziotes, Newman, Motherwell, Dehner, Hare" in Burlington Magazine, issue 1024, July 1988, no. 96 (illustrated in early state, p. 562).
Flam, J., Rogers, K., Clifford, T., 2012. Robert Motherwell Paintings and Collages: A Catalogue Raisonné 1941 – 1991. New Haven: Yale University Press. Volume 2, p. 568, Cat.rais.no. P1187.

Lise Motherwell, 1992.

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

Exhibition Highlights On Artsy

2015
Robert Motherwell: A Centennial Celebration, Dedalus Foundation, Provincetown
2015
Motherwell as Printmaker: The Artist at Work, Dedalus Foundation, Brooklyn
2015
Motherwell at 100, Dedalus Foundation, New York

Solo Shows on Artsy

2016
Robert Motherwell: Abstract Expressionism, Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London
2016
Robert Motherwell: The Art of the Collage, Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York
2015
Robert Motherwell: Black, Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London
2015
Robert Motherwell: A Centennial Celebration, Dedalus Foundation, Provincetown
2015
Motherwell as Printmaker: The Artist at Work, Dedalus Foundation, Brooklyn
2015
2015
2015
Motherwell at 100, Dedalus Foundation, New York
2013
Robert Motherwell: Collage, Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London
2012
Robert Motherwell: Prints from the Artist's Studio, Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London

Group Shows on Artsy

2013
Mixed show | September 2013, Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London
View Artist's CV