Motherwell pro and con

A couple of years ago I heard Katy Siegel dismiss Robert Motherwell by describing him as an intellectual, meaning not as much of an artist as his colleagues. Not as creative, not as emotional or intuitive, whatever qualifier one prefers. I disagree. Of all the abstract expressionists Motherwell was the most an artist of sensibility. He also had the truest and most spontaneous grasp of what Matisse was doing, and could rise to that challenge, and Matisse was hardly hampered by his intellect. All of this is obvious in the work, nevertheless, having said this in his defense, I find myself disappointed with Motherwell. It will probably take more than one post to discover why.

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