Elegy Black Black

by Motherwell, Robert (American, 1915-1991)
Categorized in Print

The Abstract Expressionist artists preferred to be called the New York School artists. Motherwell, the youngest of the New York School artists received a bachelor?s degree in philosophy before deciding to become a painter. He was also the most affluent and educated of this group. The bohemian lifestyle of the others hardly resembled the wealthy trappings Motherwell was accustomed to. These differences in wealth and education didn?t seem to matter. Meyer Schapiro, his art history instructor introduced the European Surrealists to him and he became fast friends with most of them as well. Motherwell?s fascination with their use of automatism (the suspension of consciousness which allows one the freedom to uncover the ideas and images in the subconscious) led him to his experimentations with it. Surrealists employed conventional means when describing their findings but Motherwell believed automatism should be taken a step further than that. He felt that in the process of searching the unconscious and making discoveries about yourself, you must also retain the excitement of those moments as they become known.

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