Robert Motherwell (1915-1991), born in Aberdeen Washington, was one of the founding artists of the New York School of Abstract Expressionism. As a graduate student at Harvard, he pursued gestural painting. In the early 1940s, the artist moved to New York to study at Columbia University. Influenced by the automatism introduced by Surrealism, his paintings are characterized by their impulsive, intuitive approach. In the 1950s, his work became more abstracted, culminating in the production of his most famous and influential series, Elegy to the Spanish Republic (1948-1967). He also taught at Black Mountain College in 1951 and continued to lecture, write, and edit for the rest of his career.