Sotheby’s: Important Prints & Multiples

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Robert Motherwell, ‘Three Poems (W.A.C. 388-398, 400-414)’, 1988, Sotheby's

Property from the Private Collection of Robert Motherwell and Renate Ponsold Motherwell

Each initialed in pencil and inscribed 'ap 3/4', an artist's proof copy aside from the edition of 20 numbered in Roman numerals, loose (as issued), on various handmade Japan papers attached with chine appliqué to Arches wove paper, with title and text by Octavio Paz, printed by Trestle Editions Limited, New York, published by The Limited Editions Club, New York, contained in the original linen-covered box (26 of 27 prints).

sheets: 546 by 921 mm 21 1/2 by 36 1/4 in
overall: 590 by 970 by 48 mm 23 1/4 by 38 1/8 by 1 7/8 in

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