In Robert Motherwell: The Making of an American Giant, published to coincide with Motherwell's centenary, author Bernard Jacobson examines Motherwell's art in the context of 20th-century American culture. America's music and literature were indigenous triumphs, while its art was slowly learning to become American. Imitation metamorphosed into resistance, soon to be named Abstract Expressionism. A painter, teacher and theorist, Motherwell had a slower-burning career than most of his colleagues, many of whom died young. He was always the intellectual, an Apollonian among Dionysians, and was able to create a considerable body of work that is only now, 25 years after his death, beginning to be unraveled, understood and fully appreciated. This biography, interspersed with illustrations, is an accessible introduction to Motherwell's legacy.
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