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Untitled (Beside the Sea)

Photo: Susan Cole

Untitled (Beside the Sea)

1962

Robert Motherwell

American, 1915-1991

Throughout his long career as an abstract expressionist, Motherwell held the calligraphic stroke in fine regard. He made his "Beside the Sea" series in Provincetown, Massachusetts, a village on the tip of Cape Cod. Each work incorporates a horizontal brushstroke as a grounding line from which a curving spurt of paint seems to arise spontaneously. Motherwell wanted to evoke "a column of water shooting up from the sea or dashing against a sea wall." For this ritualistic imitation of nature's force, he had to use paper strong enough to resist the powerful blow that made the painted spray.
Oil on paper
29 x 23 in. (73.66 x 58.42 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Liberman
91.247
Photo: Susan Cole
location
Not currently on view

Resources

Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Collection Highlights: 1945 To The Present, Sept. 12, 1996-June 1, 1997.
Published ReferencesArnason, H.H. "Robert Motherwell." New York: Harry N. Abrams Inc., 1977; n.p., reproduced fig. 147.

Arnason, H.H. and Dore Ashton. "Robert Motherwell." Rev. ed. New York: Harry N. Abrams Inc., 1982; p. 149, reproduced fig. 184.

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