Monday, June 11, 2012

Robert Motherwell

"To pick up a cigarette wrapper or wine label or an old letter or the end of a carton is my way of dealing with those things that do not originate in me, in my I. Most of the papers I use in my collages are random... I do not smoke Gauloises cigarettes but that particular blue of the label happens to attract me, so I possess it. Moreover, the collages are a kind of private diary – a privately coded diary, not made with actual autobiographical intention, but one that functions in an associative way for me, like Proust's madeleine."

Robert Motherwell in 1968, writing about his "Galoises Bleues" series of intaglio prints with collage.

This text was on a wall card at the Asheville North Carolina Art Museum exhibit of Robert Motherwell graphic works when I was there recently. The lithographs and intaglio prints there were interesting to contemplate in relation to the large-scale paintings most of us (talking about myself here) know him by. Don't quite understand the high praise he is being given as a printmaker, but I like the images and like the way he said what he said (assuming that the Proust/madeleine reference had not yet been used to death in 1968...)

Maybe I should go out and buy a pack of cigarettes and get out my litho stone.
So I can look at it while I smoke the cigarettes.

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