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12.10.2023 - 14.01.2024
With Robert Motherwell – Pure Painting, the Bank Austria Kunstforum Wien is showing the work of a leading representative of Abstract Expressionism, the monumental, gestural movement in painting that began in the late 1940s and is regarded as the first original form of American Post-War art. The exhibition will be the first retrospective since 1976 held in Austria that deals with the work of this important American artist, and the first in Europe since 1998.
Motherwell, the intellectual counterpart to the more media-effective Jackson Pollock, has close links to European literature and painting. His figurative beginnings are rooted in French Surrealism; in the mid-1950s he developed a purely abstract painting style in large format as his artistic language.
Dominating his oeuvre are series and variations that give expression to an intensive and ever-recurring handling of specific themes. The exhibition shows his most important cycles: Elegies to the Spanish Republic, a reaction to the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939), which, Motherwell viewed as a metaphor of every injustice. From 1948 until his death, he produced more than 150 Elegies as an unforgettable commemoration of human suffering, and abstract, poetic symbol of the inexorable cycle of life and death.
Juxtaposed to these paintings is his series aptly named Opens, which preoccupied him from 1967 until 1981, likewise in more than 200 examples. Here, in a monumental, “pure” kind of painting marked by austerity and reduction, Motherwell transports emotions by means of sophisticated colour systems and reserved expression.
Robert Motherwell – Pure Painting is produced in cooperation with The Modern in Fort Worth/Texas. The exhibition includes around forty representative works from Motherwell’s total oeuvre. Loans come from important private collections and major, mainly American museums, as The Art Institute of Chicago; Denver Art Museum; Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach/Florida; Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Tate, London.
Modern Art Museum of Forth Worth
HOUSE OF CONSTRUCTS // in collaboration with Karin Pauer
13/06/2024 - 30/06/2024