Robert Motherwell

(American, 1915–1991)



Born in Aberdeen, USA

1937 - 1938
Enrolled at Harvard University, Cambridge, USA

Received the Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Stanford University, Standford, USA

Studied in Columbia University, where he was encouraged by Meyer Schapiro to shift fields to art and art history

After a voyage to Mexico with the surrealist painter Matta, decided to make painting his primary vocation

1950 - 1959
Taught painting at Hunter College in New York and in addition to directing the influential Documents of Modern Art Series, he edited The Dada Painters and Poets: An Anthology, which was published in 1951

1960 - 1979
Exhibited widely in both America and Europe


Was given a major retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art; this show subsequently traveled to Amsterdam, London, Brussels, Essen, and Turin

Began to work on his Open series

Moved to Greenwich, USA

Was given a major mural commission for the new wing of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

A major retrospective exhibition of Motherwell’s work was mounted at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo; this exhibition was subsequently shown in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, D.C., and New York, USA

Died in Provincetown, USA


Black, Black & White, White, Leonard Hutton Galleries, New York , USA

Looking at Words, erie, Das MoMA, Berlin, Germany

Robert Motherwell, Rosenbaum Contemporary, Boca Raton, USA
Robert Motherwell, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany
Robert Motherwell from the Collection: 1940–1990, The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, USA

Robert Motherwell, Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London, England
Robert Motherwell - A la pintura (to painting), The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, USA

Robert Motherwell: Drawings and Related Prints - Greenfield Sacks Gallery, Santa Monica, USA
Robert Motherwell - Galerie Bernd Klüser, Munich, Germany

Robert Motherwell: Unique Works on Paper: Monoprints and Monotypes, Greenfield Sacks Gallery, Santa Monica, USA

Robert Motherwell's Graphics II, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, USA

Robert Motherwell: Reality and Abstraction, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA

Robert Motherwell's Graphics I, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, USA

Robert Motherwell, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

The Painter and The Printer: Robert Motherwell's Graphics, 1943-1980, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, USA
M. Knowdler, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, USA (solo)

The New School: Four Decades, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA

1981 - 1983
M. Knoedler & Co., Inc. New York, USA (solo)

A Survey - Jerald Melberg Gallery, Charlotte, USA
Ab-ex / Re-con - Abstract Expressionism Reconsidered - Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, USA
The Artist and the Poet - The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, USA
Il Guggenheim. L'avanguardia americana 1945–1980 - Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, Italy

Robert Motherwell: Prints from the Artist's Studio (London) - Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London, England
Robert Motherwell: Abstract Expressionist - St. Louis University Museum of Art - SLUMA, St. Louis, USA
The Essential Idea: Robert Motherwell's Graphic Works - Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, USA

Robert Motherwell: Works on Paper - Bernard Jacobson Gallery, London, England
Focus: Robert Motherwell - Denver Art Museum, Denver, USA
Robert Motherwell: Music - Greenfield Sacks Gallery, Santa Monica, USA

Robert Motherwell - Paintings - Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, USA
Robert Motherwell - printmaking impressions - Galerie Weihergut Biberngasse, Salzburg, Austria
Lost in Form, Found in Line: Works by Robert Motherwell - Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, USA

The Thaw Collection of Master Drawings: Aquisitions since 2002, Morgan Library and Museum, USA
Robert Motherwell: Unique Monotypes, Greenfield Sacks Gallery, Santa Monica, USA
Beyond the Canon: Small Scale American Abstraction 1945-1965, Robert Miller Gallery, USA
Robert Motherwell: Lost in Form, Found in Line, Turchin Center for the Visual Art, Boone, USA
Robert Motherwell, Galleria d'Arte il Gabbiano, Rome, Italy

The Hands of Art, SMAK Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent, Belgium
Museum Morsbroich, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany
Robert Motherwell: Five Great Opens, Bernard Jacobsen Gallery, London, England
Reflections on Light, Galerie Bernd Kluser, Munich, Germany

Temptations, The Columns, Seoul, Korea


Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan
Kiasma - Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy
The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC
Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA
University of Massachusetts, Amherst Fine Arts Center, Amherst, MA


Robert Motherwell on Paper: Drawings, Prints, Collages( text by David Rosand): Harry N. Abrams; First Edition edition
Robert Motherwell: A Dialogue with Literature(text by Robert Motherwell and Bernd Kluser), Galerie Bernd Klüser, Munich, Germany(catalogue)
Robert Motherwell: The Complete Prints 1940-1991 Catalogue Raisonné(text by Robert Motherwell and Siri Engberg), Walker Art Center