Your browser is out-of-date!
Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now
Acrylic and pasted papers on canvas mounted on board
36 x 24 in. (91.4 x 61 cm)
ARTIST’S STUDIO NUMBER
Verso (on strainer): “LIEBCHEN” FOR RENATE ♥ Xmas, 1986
Verso: for Renate \ R. Motherwell 1984 \ acrylic on canvas \ [circle and directional arrow indicating orientation of painting]
The word, “Liebchen,”“sweetheart” or “dear” in German, is written on a collage element at the center of the work. This word was also used in an etching made by Motherwell for his livre d’artiste of James Joyce’s Ulysses published by Arion Press in 1988 (Engberg and Banach 2003, nos. 445.5 and 450). Motherwell completed dozens of drawings for the Ulysses project during the summer of 1985.
In a July 1988 interview with David Hayman, Motherwell said of the Ulysses etchings: “One plate says ‘Liebchen’ in savage calligraphy. Joyce experts have pointed out to me that liebchen is a word that does not occur in Ulysses. He never wrote the word. My wife happens to be German-born. ‘Liebchen’ is, so to speak, my Molly, my female figure, and since I am not making a scholarly work, I’ll take the right to put my woman into it too” (See “Writings by the Artist,” in the Bibliography).
The composition of this collage was used as the basis for the printed ground in Motherwell’s 1986 Alphabet Series (Engberg and Banach 2003, no. 375).