Fine Arts Work Center 

Robert Motherwell: A Centennial Celebration

May 15, 2015

The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts and the Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM) announce details for Robert Motherwell: A Centennial Celebration scheduled for May 15 - July 19, 2015. The two-week festivities will include exhibitions of the renowned artist’s work, along with talks and workshops commemorating Motherwell’s legacy in Provincetown and his impact on generations of artists and writers. The programs will be hosted at Fine Arts Work Center and PAAM and presented in collaboration with the Dedalus Foundation, founded in 1981 by Robert Motherwell to foster public understanding of Modernism and to preserve Motherwell’s own artistic legacy. Other centennial celebrations associated with Dedalus throughout 2015 include: three programs in New York at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Hunter College Art Gallery, and the Gallery at Industry City; one in San Francisco at de Young Museum; and one in Washington D.C. at Archives of American Art. 

Exhibits open on May 15 at both PAAM and the Fine Arts Work Center and include paintings, collage, poetry, and works on paper showcasing Motherwell’s status as one of America’s great Abstract Expressionists. The additional inclusion of photographs and ephemera exemplify a thorough study of material and processes, highlighting Motherwell’s distinct interest in both visual and literary arts. Programs at the Fine Arts Work Center will focus on this dual disciplinary perspective, emphasizing selected prints and artists books in which Motherwell engaged with 20th century writers such as James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, Octavio Paz, and Rafael Alberti. PAAM’s program will feature paintings and collage work from the Museum’s extraordinary permanent collection, as well as works on loan from the Dedalus Foundation.

Special guests throughout the two-week celebration include Robert Motherwell scholars and curators, as well as artists and writers who will participate in related events and a panel discussion on his life and work. Most events are free and open to the public. Additionally, two special workshops complement the program. Fine Arts Work Center will host an intensive two-day printmaking class using the original Motherwell press, donated by the artist, in their recently renovated state-of-the-art Mazur Print Studio. PAAM will offer a two-session workshop detailing the use of color, gesture, and collage as an exploration of expression in printmaking. (See below for a complete list of workshops, events, and participating guests). 

Commenting on the two-week program, Fine Arts Work Center Executive Director Michael Roberts notes, “Robert Motherwell’s genius changed the face of American art and extended the renown of the Provincetown art colony. Moreover, his passionate sympathy for literature was a critical factor in the genesis of the Fine Arts Work Center as a place where artists and writers would share an intensive period of creativity. In our exhibition of prints and artist books, we spotlight Motherwell’s own creative collaborations, which blazed a trail for the hundreds of artists and writers who have grown artistically through the Work Center’s Fellowship Program.” 

PAAM Executive Director Christine McCarthy adds “PAAM is honored to be partnering with FAWC and Dedalus to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Robert Motherwell in Provincetown, a major source for artistic inspiration for generations, past and present. Motherwell’s commitment to the creative process will be explored throughout these two weeks, and we invite all to participate in this unique opportunity.”


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