A series can be thought of as one problem, constantly reworked and unfinishable, or as a set of different and finished solutions to the same problem, the two sides of [Motherwell’s] philosophical pursuit of variousness.
Bernard Jacobson, Robert Motherwell: The Making of an American Giant
My drawing and painting have been curtailed for the past twenty-four hours, mostly because Amazon delivered to me the book I just quoted above. For hours I have been sitting and soaking the pages of this text, enriched beyond description. I like the way different scholars approach the issue of Motherwell’s series paintings, most notably his Elegies and his Open works–each series comprising more than two hundred paintings. Motherwell once remarked that he continually tried to depict the same subject because he never felt he got it right, and mused that that could have been the reason for Cézanne’s obsession with Mont Sainte-Victoire.
I have a different reason for the Laguna Madre works–my one-man-show opens in about a month and a half, and I still would like to try a few more angles of the subject. The one I started today is of the field station where I spent my nights.