Leslie Sacks Contemporary is pleased to announce an exhibition of works by renowned abstract expressionist Robert Motherwell. The exhibition will consists of a selection of prints from 1987 - 1991, which come directly from the Estate of Robert Motherwell, The Dedalus Foundation.
Throughout his lifetime Robert Motherwell was interested in the works of the major classical composers. Beethoven, Mozart, and Bach have all been subjects of Motherwell’s unique works and prints. His most successful homage to these maestros are his collages, which incorporate sheet music. In works such as Black For Mozart, 1991 Motherwell creates lithographs of sheet music and collages them with abstract forms, meshing the composer’s work into his own.
Motherwell uses the notes of the sheet music both as abstract and representational elements to heighten his compositions. In the work titled In White with Green Stripe, 1989 a roughly cut sliver of sheet music is placed into the densely layered collage. The abstract form created in this work is book ended by sheet music, which is set against the hardedge green stripe. The identifiable element of sheet music becomes a stopping point for the viewer in an otherwise fully abstract composition.
Motherwell once said, “Painting is a medium in which the mind can actualize itself; it is a medium of thought. Thus painting, like music, tends to become its own content." There is a unique connection between those who compose for the ears and those who compose for the eyes. Notes on sheet music are symbols for communicating an abstract thought or idea of a composer. In this same way Motherwell’s gestures, strokes and notes are a visual communication of his abstract ideas.