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Thursday, July 19, 2012

P.A.A.M. Robert Motherwell: By the Sea /Long Point Artists July 20, 2012

Robert Motherwell, Beside the Sea #22. All art by Robert Motherwell
is © Dedalus Foundation, Inc. Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Robert Motherwell: Beside the Sea at Provincetown Art Association and Museum is first major exhibition of the artist's work on Cape Cod, and offers glimpse of rarely
seen work created in Motherwell's
Provincetown studio
 On view at PAAM July 20-September 30 with a free opening reception on Friday, July 20 from 8-10pm
Provincetown, MA: Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM) is thrilled to present an exhibition of work by Robert Motherwell this summer, July 20-September 30, 2012. Robert Motherwell: Beside the Sea, curated by Lise Motherwell and Daniel Ranalli, will present rare work created by the artist in his Provincetown studio during the summer of 1942.

2012 is a milestone year as it marks the 70th anniversary of the artist's first visit to Provincetown, Massachusetts and the 50th anniversary of the creation of his Beside the Sea series, based on his experiences living in the small outer Cape Cod town. This is the first major exhibition of Motherwell's work on Cape Cod and provides a never before-seen look at many pieces held in private collections.

The art of Robert Motherwell has national and international significance and is included in the collections of numerous national and international institutions as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, NY; the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, NY; The Art Institute of Chicago; the Whitney Museum of American Art; Centre Georges Pompidou, Musee National d'art Moderne in Paris, France; the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota; the Tate Modern in London, England; the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, Spain; the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC; Los Angeles County Museum of Art;  and numerous private collections.

Distinguished critic John Yau writes in his essay Beside the Sea: Robert Motherwell in Provincetown how Motherwell drew direct inspiration for this series from what he observed from his sea-side studio on Commercial Street in Provincetown. To illustrate, he points to a conversation Motherwell had with art historian H. H. Arnason:

"For years my summer studio has been directly on the bay in Provincetown on Cape Cod. There is a 900-foot tidal flat, and, just as one can play
ball games at low tide, at high tide the sea in a high wind breaks against
 the bulkhead in violent spray. In the Beside the Sea Series, I made the painted spray with such physical force that the strong rag paper split,
and it was only when I found rag paper laminated with glue in five layers
that the surface could take the full force of my shoulder, arm, hand,
and brush without splitting. One might say that the true way to 'imitate'
nature is to employ its own processes."

PAAM will be offering several public programs to accompany this significant exhibition with lectures by Jack Flam, president of the Dedalus Foundation which was founded by Robert Motherwell to foster public understanding of modern art and Modernism; John Yau, art critic and author of the distinguished essay Beside the Sea: Robert Motherwell in Provincetown; and Catherine Mosley, artist and Motherwell's Master Printmaker from 1978-1991.

Exhibiting concurrently with the Motherwell show is Long Point: An Artists' Place, curated by Mary E. Abell and featuring the work of numerous artists from the legendary co-op gallery, including Motherwell himself who was one of the founders in 1977.

The opening reception for Robert Motherwell: Beside the Sea is Friday, July 20 from 8-10pm and is free and open to the public. This exhibition is on display from July 20-September 30, 2012.

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