Collage No. 2

Media - 1995.2.2 - SAAM-1995.2.2_1 - 83694
Copied Robert Motherwell, Collage No. 2, 1945, oil on paper mounted on paperboard, 21 7815 in. (55.738.0 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Dedalus Foundation and museum purchase, 1995.2.2, © 1994, Dedalus Foundation

Artwork Details

Collage No. 2
Not on view
21 7815 in. (55.738.0 cm.)
lower right in pencil: 45 Robert Motherwell 45 verso lower center in black ink: 28A (written in a circle) verso center in black ink: Coll. R.M.
© 1994, Dedalus Foundation
Credit Line
Gift of the Dedalus Foundation and museum purchase
Mediums Description
oil on paper mounted on paperboard
  • Nonrepresentational
  • Abstract
Object Number

Artwork Description

In the spring of 1943, Peggy Guggenheim invited Motherwell, Jackson Pollock, and several others to create collages for an international exhibition at her New York gallery, Art of This Century. Although he had not worked in collage before, Motherwell accepted. The chance to show alongside Picasso, Matisse, Braque, and Miró was simply too good to pass up. For Motherwell collage was a revelation. Painting over and around bits of cut or torn paper allowed him to work spontaneously, and he came to think of collage as a kind of private “journal” that offered a way to introduce bits of the everyday world into otherwise abstract compositions.

Modern Masters: Midcentury Abstraction from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2008