new-york

Robert Motherwell

Lawrence Rubin Gallery

Robert Motherwell showed nine paintings, all but one from this year, at the Lawrence Rubin Gallery. This artist has an assertive persistence about him, as though in moments of declined appreciation he were on the verge of saying, “You won’t have Bob Motherwell to kick around anymore.” To some extent most artists share the same dilemma, when theirown growth outlives the immediate interests of history. Motherwell did make substantial contributions to the New York School in its heroic period, and on a high level. The rhetorical aspects of his Elegies may not seem to the point now, but they have proved far less dated than such feelings embodied in similar forms in works by other artists, e.g., Seymour Lipton. Moreover, Motherwell’s best public works may not, even as yet, have received the full honor due them. How often their inescapable meaningfulness—never a matter of esthetically superfluous

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