Born 1915, Aberdeen, Washington State, USA.
Robert Motherwell was brought up in California. He went to Stanford University from 1932 - 36, Harvard from 1937-38 and Columbia in 1940, where he pursued Philosophy, Psychoanalytic Theory and Aesthetics. In 1941 he turned to painting, and in New York met the many exiled European artists, particularly the Surrealists. An abstract symbolist, whose series Elegies to the Spanish Republic is the best known. A leader of the New York School from 1949 onwards and a prolific writer on and defender of the avant-garde.