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Madrid Suite. 1965.

Robert Motherwell

* 1915 in Aberdeen † 1991 in Provincetown

Lithograph. Size of each sheet: 55.9 x 76.2 cm.

Complete set, including 10 lithographs and the title page, in its original brown binding. Each lithograph signed and numbered '10/100'.

Literature: Engberg Banach 21-30.

The graphite textures of Motherwell's Madrid drawings of 1958 inspired him to contrive a suite of lithograph based on their triangulated central form. The lithographic crayon was appropriate to the complex hatching marks that Motherwell wanted to re-create in the background of the prints, resembling the granular quality of the original drawings.

From the edition of 100, Motherwell issued one segment of the suite in a portfolio format that incorporated all ten lithographs and a title page on Curtis Tweed weave paper containing a statement by the artist about the origin of the images and his collaboration with Irwin Hollander. The portfolio covers bears the artist's name and the title of the suite, and has a light brown binding. Approximately thirty portfolios suites were issued from the first third of the numbered sequence, though no precise documentation of this exists in workshoprecords or the artist's archive. [...]

The artist wanted the lithographs to bear a composite title made up of the name of the suite and a letter suffix from A to J. The sequencing and titling of the images herein reflect that original determination. In a decision in 1979 to compress further the way the image was situated in the page plane, Motherwell asked Hollander to tear down the margins from 30 to 27 inches on a number of impressions from the sequence 50/100 through 100/100.


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