The Easel

Another Look at Robert Motherwell

Compared to the other abstract expressionist pioneers, Motherwell was the brainy one. He is best known for the black and white “Elergy” paintings and, 20 years later, the more geometric “Open” series. Critical opinion has favoured the Elergy series as the greater achievement, but reviewing a current show in New York, one critic argues that the Open paintings represent Motherwell in top form.