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AGO Unveils One of the World’s Largest Public Collections of Motherwell Drawings

June 25th, 2011

“Nothing as drastic an innovation as abstract art could
have come into existence,

save as the consequence of a most profound, relentless, unquenchable need.

Abstract art is an effort to close the void that modern men feel.”

Robert Motherwell

(TORONTO – June 23, 2011)
The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) continues to celebrate the Abstract Expressionist movement with an exhibition of drawings by Robert Motherwell. Painting on Paper: The Drawings of Robert Motherwell, on view June 25 through December 11, 2011, showcases 55 works from the AGO collection, which houses one of the largest public holdings of drawings by Motherwell.

“This exhibition gives visitors the opportunity to explore the mind and works of Motherwell, an eloquent and passionate Abstract Expressionist,” says Mathew Teitelbaum, the AGO’s Michael and Sonja Koerner Director and CEO. “Painting on Paper enriches the Abstract Expressionist New York experience at the AGO, giving visitors an in-depth look at the artistic process and evolution of one of the movement’s major figures.”

Curated by Brenda Rix, the AGO’s assistant curator of prints and drawings, Painting on Paper demonstrates how Motherwell’s motifs were imagined, refined and revisited over the span of his career by organizing the collection into several major chronological themes, ranging from the 1940s to the 1970s. The works on display were selected primarily from 74 drawings and paintings by Motherwell acquired by the AGO in 1998.

“Motherwell aims to express human feelings and the human spirit through gestural lines and bold forms,” says Rix. “His painterly drawings, executed on a wide variety of papers, reveal an admiration for the unique textures and tactile surfaces of paper.”

Read the rest of the press release by clicking here.

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