Motherwell sought to give shape to truth

Baltimore Museum of Art celebrates abstract-expressionist painter

Critical Eye

May 21, 2006|By GLENN MCNATT | GLENN MCNATT,SUN ART CRITIC

In 1948, the American painter Robert Motherwell dashed off an ink sketch to "illustrate" a poem the critic Harold Rosenberg had written for a short-lived magazine edited by the artist and his friends.

The spontaneous abstract drawing, which Motherwell called Elegy No. 1, consisted of little more than a few black vertical bars and ovals set against a stark white background.

ROBERT MOTHERWELL: MEANINGS OF ABSTRACTION / / Through July 30 / / Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive / / 443-573-1700 or artbma.org

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