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Totemic Figure

  • Robert Motherwell. ‘Totemic Figure’. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. Madrid © De las reproducciones autorizadas, VEGAP, 2011

    Robert Motherwell. ‘Totemic Figure’. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. Madrid © De las reproducciones autorizadas, VEGAP, 2011

     
  

Category

Painting

Date

20th century (1958)

Artist

Robert Motherwell

Cultural background

Contemporary

Original title

Totemic Figure

A piece that reflects the new treatment of abstraction as part of North American abstract expressionism, of which Robert Motherwell is a important representative.

 

In North American Abstract Expressionism there is a popular trend, which involves painting as a way of plastic experimentation, based on work in its own environment: colour and bidimensionality of the painting space. Motherwell's painting is an example of the main features of this trend, which involves the physical action of painting on a canvas as large as a mural which goes beyond the limits of the frame.

 

In this practice, which comes from Surrealist Automatism, the artist's subjective expression is largely important, in purely visual terms. Motherwell created series that identify his work, including "Elegy to the Spanish Republic", intimately connected with his experience in Spain. This work is can also be found at the Reina Sofia National Art Museum.

 

Details of the work

Object
Painting

Dimensions
213.4 x 276.9 cm

Technique
Oil on canvas

  

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