41 1/2 x 57 3/4 in. (105.4 x 146.7 cm)
Signed "R. Motherwell" in pencil lower right
Numbered in pencil lower right; workshop chop mark lower right; workshop number "RM83-687" in pencil reverse lower left
1 archive proof
12 AP, numbered I-XII
2 TP, numbered I-II
Tyler Graphics Ltd., Mount Kisco, New York
Steeve Reeves and Tom Strianese (magnesium plate), and Roger Campbell and Lee Funderburg (aluminum plates), Tyler Graphics Ltd.
Papermaking and hand coloring by Reeves and Strianese; magnesium plate preparation by Kenneth Tyler with processing by Swan Engraving, Bridgeport, Connecticut; proofing by Reeves and Strianese; prep work for continuous-tone lithography by Tyler; aluminum plate preparation by Funderburg
12 colors (including 6 paper dyes) printed in 5 runs from 1 magnesium plate and 3 aluminum plates with 1 paper pressing: 1. white pulp base sheet dyed with yellow-ochre, light turquoise blue, dark turquoise blue, light blue-gray, dark blue-gray, and white; 2. blue – magnesium plate (relief); 3. transparent magenta and transparent blue – aluminum plate (lithograph); 4. magenta and blue – aluminum plate (lithograph); 5. transparent violet – aluminum plate (lithograph)
B 347; TGL RM84
The Blue Elegy lithographs are related to two paintings, both of which were titled Blue Elegy. The first was executed in 1966 as a small acrylic composition on the back cover of a sketchbook. Working tonally in a manner characteristic of his Open paintings, Motherwell layered two opaque blue planes and incorporated the manila color of the paperboard as a third tone. For the second painting, executed in 1981, he reworked and enlarged the 1966 composition. The Blue Elegy print closely resembles the soft outlines of the paintings Blue Elegy, State I (cat. no. 380) and Blue Elegy, State II (cat. no. 381) are augmented by a plate that imposes drawing around the forms.