The Mexican Sketchbook. India ink on paper and watercolor paper. 1941. © The Museum of Modern Art

Elegiac Study 1983, © Dedalus Foundation.

18 October 1987 Sketchbook #22. 1987. Conté crayon on plastic sheet, sight sheet.

18 October 1987 Sketchbook #4. 1987. Black and colored conté crayons on plastic sheet.

Robert Motherwell's journey into expressive abstraction and spontaneous imagery peels away complex abstraction to expressive lines and color. His first notable piece was his Mexican Sketchbook, 1941. However, in 1984, he states of his Dedalus Sketchbook, ‘The procedure is a marvellous release when one is so often butting ones head against the stone wall of painting’. The title of the sketchbook refers to the main character, Stephen Dedalus, of James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Even in his late sketchooks we can see Motherwell continues with this method; color line on plastic sheets.

Various media, noted under the images.

Artist:Robert Motherwell.

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