Robert Motherwell: Contemplative Beholding

Robert Motherwell: Contemplative Beholding features Robert Motherwell’s A la pintura (On Painting), an artist’s book of aquatint images and letterpress text that illustrates the writing of Spanish poet Raphael Alberti. Inspired by the art of the great painters found in the collection of the Prado museum, Alberti’s words pay homage to the process of painting and the colors black, blue, red, and white.

The exhibition was planned in conjunction with Fr. Ryan Duns’ Theology class Contemplation and Justice in a Violent World. Each week the students will visit the Haggerty and “behold” the same piece of art for 20 minutes and then write a 3-page reflection on their experience expressing what they see, how they feel, and the way the work changes over time. According to Fr. Duns, “My thought – supported by the literature – is that the disciplined practice of beholding will allow students to perceive everything more clearly. “We grow by looking,” as Iris Murdoch put it, and through these practices we come to see the world on its terms, not ours.”

This exhibition, Robert Motherwell: Contemplative Beholding, is supported in part by a grant from the Milwaukee Arts Board and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin. 

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Object images with poems: