Through Black Emerge Purified

Robert Motherwell
Through Black Emerge Purified

An original Robert Motherwell lithograph print.


Original lithograph printed in two colours (black, red) on white hand-made paper bearing the Tyler Graphics Ltd. watermark

A superb impression of the definitive state of this extremely scarce lithograph from the album edition of only 51. One of 19 original lithographs created by the artist to illustrate the Rafael Alberti poem El Negro Motherwell. Published by Tyler Graphics Ltd., Bedford Village, New York; printed by Roger Campbell, Lee Funderburg & Kenneth Tyler.

Catalog: RM 56; TGL 437; Belknap 288; Walker 308.19.

15 x 37 3/4 inches

El Negro was Motherwell’s second collaboration with Rafael Alberti and his first illustrated album with Kenneth Tyler. The book incorporates Alberti’s poem “Negro Motherwell” (1980). The poet and the artist chose to use El Negro as the album’s formal title. Motherwell has handwritten fragments of the text in many of the lithographic images, augmenting the strong declarative qualities of the poetry.

Robert Motherwell worked with many renowned printers and publishers over the years. To each he brought his own consistent elegance of line and composition, while taking advantage of the special technical expertise of his collaborators. Kenneth Tyler, for many years co-owner and master printer at Gemini G.E.L. in Los Angeles, founded his own press, Tyler Graphics, Ltd., in 1974. El Negro was the most ambitious project undertaken by Tyler and Motherwell, incorporating nineteen original lithographs. Tyler said of Motherwell:

You really can’t figure him out. Almost every printer is scared stiff of him. He can out-talk anyone, logically, not with a bunch of crap but with real logic and information that’s been gained through years of working and searching. You don’t dismiss him in any area.