The National Gallery of Australia presents an exhibition of Motherwell’s works until 6 October 2014. Motherwell’s abstractions were not simply aesthetically pleasing forms and colours, but related to the world in some way or other, though he chose never to illustrate, or depict, preferring rather to evoke or suggest. He adopted various methods in his art practice. Inspired by the Surrealists and their notion of automatism, he would spontaneously draw his imagery on a sheet or a canvas. Motherwell also adopted the technique of collage, the most radical form of drawing developed in the twentieth century, which generated the Modernist styles of Cubism, Dada and Surrealism, and later the Neo Dada and Pop styles from the 1950s onwards. Both automatism and collage were methods that allowed Motherwell to remain creative and unleash his repertoire of imagery.
Image: Robert Motherwell, Burning elegy 1991. Lithograph. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased with the assistance of the Orde Poynton Fund 2002© Robert Motherwell/VAGA.