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Print9 Iso

A Throw of the Dice #1


Print9 Iso

lithograph on white wove Rives BFK paper
30 x 22 in. (76.2 x 55.9 cm)


Some impressions signed "Robert Motherwell" in pencil lower left; some impressions signed "R. Motherwell" in pencil lower right


Some impressions numbered in pencil lower right; workshop chop mark lower left




TP (unrecorded)
unique proofs (unrecorded)
WP (unrecorded)


Universal Limited Art Editions, West Islip, New York


Zigmunds Priede, Universal Limited Art Editions

Production Sequence

1 color printed in 1 run from 1 stone: black – stone


B Appendix 7; ULAE Appendix 1


The collective title of this group of seven lithographs is taken from Stéphane Mallarmé's experimental poem "Un Coup de dés" (A throw of the dice), written in 1897.

This series is distinguished by impact brushwork and replicates the technique Motherwell used to compose his Beside the Sea paintings on paper of 1962. Although he intended for the series to be printed in black, some impressions were printed in ochre from a second stone on colored papers. Many of these were signed, dated, and occasionally hand-painted as unique paper works. Because of the somewhat random nature of the project, the prints were not released as a formal edition or catalogued as an official publication, though they are detailed in Esther Sparks' ULAE catalogue raisonné. The sequencing of these seven lithographs follows the original numbering Motherwell assigned to the images and hand-inscribed on a set of impressions that ULAE donated to the Art Institute of Chicago. See also cat. nos. 10-15.

From the Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings and Collages Chronology: Motherwell works on a new series of
lithographs at ULAE, A Throw of the Dice numbers 1–7. (endnote 375) Inspired by the technique of the Beside the Sea series, he hits the stones with an ink-loaded brush, creating bold, splattered, gestural forms. Tatyana Grosman objects to the works, in part because of Motherwell’s working method, and refuses to publish them. Offended, Motherwell does not return to work at ULAE until 1965. (endnote 376)


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