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© Dedalus Foundation, Inc/VAGA, New York and DACS, London 2017. Photo credit: Tate

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Ulysses dates from early in Motherwell's career when he was living in East Hampton, New York. It is painted on a piece of cardboard attached to part of a wooden crate. The nails and battens of this support may have helped to define the structure of the composition. Two planks of wood running down the lateral edges of the work are painted in a warm yellow ochre and frame the strong geometric shapes of the central composition. The consistency of the paintwork is varied, generating a collage-like effect of different textures. The oval shape at the top and the triangle below can be seen to make up a very simplified figure, reminiscent of the paintings of Motherwell's contemporary William Baziotes (see Tate T01693).


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More information




Oil and cardboard on wood


H 85.7 x W 71.1 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Acquired by purchase and gift from the Dedalus Foundation 1996

Work type



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