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Wall Painting with Stripes

A work made of oil on canvas.
Art © Dedalus Foundation, Inc. / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.




Robert Motherwell
American, 1915-1991

About this artwork

Of all the New York School painters, scholar and artist Robert Motherwell aligned himself most closely with modern European art and literature. An early painting by Motherwell, Wall Painting with Stripes fuses the geometric rigor found in the art of Henri Matisse, Piet Mondrian, and Pablo Picasso with an organic or biomorphic abstract language that is reminiscent of the imagery employed by Surrealists Max Ernst and Joan Miró. Although signed and dated 1944, this painting shows signs of having been altered over time by the artist. Pentimenti (evidence of previous compositions), including a complex network of lines that were simplified into egg-shaped forms and bulging curves, are visible underneath the vertical bands of ocher and white paint. Motherwell once wrote, “My pictures have layers of mistakes buried in them—an X-ray would disclose crimes—layers of consciousness, of willing.”


Currently Off View


Contemporary Art


Robert Motherwell


Wall Painting with Stripes


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on canvas


137.2 × 170.5 cm (54 × 67 1/8 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman in honor of her grandchildren, Ellen Steinberg and Peter Steinberg; gift of Lannan Foundation

Reference Number



Art © Dedalus Foundation, Inc. / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Extended information about this artwork

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