Over the years, Ken Tyler has worked with the divergent styles of many artists, adapting to the particular requirements of each one. Producing ‘painterly prints’ for the major Abstract Expressionist artist Robert Motherwell (1915–1991) was a considerable challenge. For Motherwell, who worked in an intuitive, automatic manner, the technicalities of printmaking could be seen as a constraint. Yet, in his collaborative work with Tyler, his works maintained the freshness of their expression, despite the rigours of production.

One method favoured by Motherwell was collage, which he considered as an equivalent to a modern still life. ‘Collage somehow became my joy, and has been ever since. Also, it has another function: Sometimes I get stuck in painting … and often, after shifting to collage for a time, I may resolve the painting problem when I return to it.’ But collage had its difficulties too.

Alternative content

Get Adobe Flash player

Further information will be added to this site as the National Gallery proceeds with its research and documentation.

Last updated January 2017