Robert Motherwell – Early Collages

Venezia - 25/05/2013 : 08/09/2013

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This focused exhibition is devoted to Motherwell’s papiers collés and related works on paper executed during his first decade of art making (1941–1951). Featuring over 40 works, the exhibition also honors Peggy Guggenheim’s early patronage of the artist. At her urging, and under the tutelage of émigré Surrealist artist, Matta (Roberto Sebastián Matta Echaurren), Motherwell’s described his encounter with the papier collé technique as “the greatest of our [art] discoveries.” By cutting, tearing, and layering pasted papers, Motherwell reflected the tumult and violence of the modern world, establishing him as an essential and original voice in postwar American art

Motherwell produced both abstracted figural collages and pure abstraction collages. However, by 1952 Surrealist influences prevalent in these first works had given way to his distinctive mature style, firmly rooted in Abstract Expressionism. Organized by Guggenheim senior curator Susan Davidson, Robert Motherwell: Early Collages will be presented at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, May 26–September 8, 2013, before traveling to its second and final venue, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, September 27, 2013–January 5, 2014. This exhibition is supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art, with additional funding from the Dedalus Foundation, Inc.