Gesture No. 45c. 197748 x 36 in. acrylic on canvas
Provenance Dedalus Foundation, 1991
Private Collection, USA, 2005
LiteratureArt in Embassies 1999, color illus. n.p. (detail), color illus. n.p.
Robert Motherwell Paintings and Collages, Catalogue Raisonne, 1941-1991, Vol. II, Paintings on Canvas and Panel, color illustration, p.451, fig. P918
DescriptionRobert Motherwell is admired for his gestural contributions to Abstract Expressionism. From his early period starting in the 1940s until his final works of the 1990s, one can see a distinct stylistic shift into his characteristic Elegy paintings and signature gestural works. Gesture No. 45 demonstrates Motherwell’s intuitive approach to painting influenced by the automatic drawing of the Surrealists. His gestures in this painting are characterized by a suggestion of chance and accident: “Painting is a medium in which the mind can actualize itself; it is a medium of thought,” he said. “Thus painting, like music, tends to become its own content.”