Robert Motherwell / Elegy to the Spanish Republic No. LV / 1955-1960Robert Motherwell
Elegy to the Spanish Republic No. LV

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Creator Name: Motherwell, Robert
Creator Nationality: North American; American
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: 1915 - 1991
Gender: M
Creator Birth Place: Aberdeen, Washington
Creator Death Place: Provincetown, Massachusetts
Creator Name-CRT: Robert Motherwell
Title: Elegy to the Spanish Republic No. LV
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1955
Creation End Date: 1960
Creation Date: 1955-1960
Object Type: Paintings
Classification Term: Painting
Materials and Techniques: oil on canvas
Dimensions: Framed: 181cm x 196cm x 4cm, Unframed: 178.1cm x 193.7cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1963.583
Credit Line: Contemporary Collection of The Cleveland Museum of Art
Copyright: Art: © Artist or Artist's Estate/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Provenance: (Marlborough Gerson Gallery, New York).

This powerful, abstract composition is from a series that expressed Motherwell's response to the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and the struggle against fascism. "The Elegies reflect the internationalist in me, interested in the historical forces of the 20th century, with strong feelings about the conflicting forces in it," he once explained. These paintings, created from 1948 through the mid-1960s, are characterized by a strictly defined visual vocabulary of shape and color opposites, modified on each canvas to produce varied effects. Here the bold, black ovals and vertical rectangular bars press against one another in front of a background of sweeping white brushstrokes with occasional touches of orange. Although the surface is relatively even and opaque, subtle variations in tone, value, and texture are evident. The contrasts of form and color suggest metaphors for war and peace, life and death, freedom and oppression.

AMICA ID: CMA_.1963.583
AMICA Library Year: 2002
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art

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