Robert Motherwell and Jasper Johns – Poetic Works as Metaphor

Foreword and Essay by Reilly Rhodes

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


Soft cover book/exhibition catalog titled: Robert Motherwell and Jasper Johns-Poetic Works as Metaphor, 40 pages, 16 color plates plus cover

Measurements: 8 x 10-7/8 in.


In 1976 the painter asper Johns and poet Samuel Beckett collaborated on the production of Foirades/Fizzles, an illustrated livre de lux consisting of five short essays by Beckett, and thirty-five etchings and aquatints by Johns.  Equally fascinating was the project on which Robert Motherwell and Rafael Alberti collaborated between 1980 and 1983, which began with a short poem written and recited by Alberti at the 1980 opening of Motherwell’s exhibition held in Barcelona and traveled to Madrid. 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.


Robert Motherwell and Jasper Johns-Poetic Works as Metaphor

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