Robert Motherwell and Jasper Johns – Poetic Works as Metaphor


Foreword and Essay by Reilly Rhodes, Curator and Historian

Published 2001 by Contemporary and Modern Print Exhibitions, Laguna Niguel, CA

Printed by Mekong Printing Inc., Santa Ana, CA

Soft cover book/exhibition catalog;  40 pages,

16 color plates plus cover

Measurements: 8 x 10-7/8 in.

ISNB 1-891435-02-7

First Edition 2000 copies













Robert Motherwell and Jasper Johns-Poetic Works as Metaphor, provides a meaningful look at the works of two of the most important painters of the twentieth century and their relationship with leading poets and writers of their time.  


In 1976 the Neo-Data/Pop & Conceptional artist Jasper Johns and Irish poet, novelist and playwright Samuel Beckett collaborated on the production of Foirades/Fizzles, [Echo and Allusion] an illustrated livre de lux [‘luxury book’] consisting of five short essays by Beckett, and thirty-five etchings and aquatints by Johns.  Equally fascinating was the project on which Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell and the Spanish Poet [Member of the Generation of ‘27] Rafael Alberti collaborated between 1980 and 1983, which began with a short poem written and recited by Alberti at the 1980 Barcelona opening of Motherwell’s exhibition in Barcelona and traveled to Fundación Juan March, Madrid, Spain (1980).  Motherwell responded with a livre de peintre known as El Negro Motherwell


Robert Motherwell (1915–91) came to abstraction not through painting, but through philosophy, poetry and art history. While studying at Stanford, he was introduced to modernism and symbolism; Stéphane Mallarmé’s dictum, “To paint, not the thing, but the effect it provides,” would prove essential in Motherwell’s work. Elegy to the Spanish Republic


Jasper Johns (b. 1930) American painter, sculptor and printmaker whose work is associated with abstract expressionism, Neo-Dada, and Pop art. Johns was a con temporary of Robert Rauschenberg. He ranks high among leading painters and printmakers of the past including Rembrandt and Picasso.



Robert Motherwell and Jasper Johns-Poetic Works as Metaphor

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