Born and raised in New York City, Jeannie Motherwell inherited a love of painting from her father, Robert Motherwell, and stepmother, Helen Frankenthaler, two pillars of mid-century abstraction. She studied painting at Bard College and the Art Students League in New York. Continuing with her art after college, she became active in arts education at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, until relocating to Cambridge, MA, where she worked at Boston University for the graduate program in Arts Administration until 2015. She served on the Cambridge Arts Council Pubic Art Commission from 2004 - 2007 and is currently on the Advisory Board for North Cambridge Arts (NoCa) and Joy Street Artists Open Studios in Somerville, MA. Her work has been featured in public and private collections throughout the US and abroad.
Jeannie's studio is in Somerville, MA. She is represented by the AMP Gallery in Provincetown, MA; Lynne Scalo in Greenwich, CT; the M Fine Arts Galerie in Palm Beach, FL; and the Rafius Fane Gallery in Boston, MA.
I am amazed by the images and mysteries of the oceans and skies in changing weather, Hubble-type images of the universe, and my own physicality during the painting process. There's an intimacy to the space in my work but also an immensity. The process I use and the mere physicality of it help me explore spatial complexities that yield marvelous surprises, often carrying me in directions I cannot anticipate. I like to think of my artwork as an 'event' or an 'occurrence'; that is, an action that emerges in the here and now — the subject matter symbolizing the images and mysteries of creation.
The Painting Process: Pouring, pushing and layering — creating Pyrifera (a 2½ minute video)
The kelp forests off of Southern California have been decimated through man-made ecological changes: nuclear reactor waste water, oil-well cooling water dumping, and the massive reduction of the natural predators of the sea urchin: California Otter, Spiney Lobster, and the Sheepshead fish. It is primarily the sea urchin that has destroyed the kelp forests. In recent years, a group called the California Coastkeeper Alliance has been able to restore some of the Macrocystis pyrifera (commonly known as giant kelp) beds. For more information, Southern California Giant Kelp Restoration Project.
"Jeannie Motherwell's work pits generation against collapse, and are as capricious as light flashing on water. They pin us with similar intensity — a moment of coming to be that will just as soon vanish."
—Cate McQuaid, Boston Globe
"As the daughter of two artistic icons, how do you find your own path and message in the art world? Jeannie Motherwell has managed to do both."
—Dirk Vanduffel, Artdependence Magazine, Belgium, 2017
"The artwork is 'an event, an occurrence'; that is, an action that emerges in the here and now. At issue is the nature of creation; the 'subject-matter' of Motherwell's work is an 'artistic creation' itself, a symbol of the images and mysteries of creation."
—Gerardo Gil, Fine Art Critic, Barcelona, Spain
"Abstract acrylic painter Jeannie Motherwell refuses to grow cold in the artistic shadow of her father and stepmother, Robert Motherwell and Helen Frankenthaler. As a stable ecosystem quells its wrestling constituents, Motherwell's refined intuition hushes the spontaneous boundaries of dilating paint on Claybord and canvas. Over a soberly spoken interview, the New York artist admits in her work the faint pursuit of a faded horizon: the shifting waters from the view of an old home, replaced, in time, by a windowless studio. The methodology of Motherwell's art - to draw a structure from an uncertainty - eerily echoes a ritual from her upbringing: discerning, with the right words, to the joy of her guardians, the spiritual essences behind their cascades of paint."
—Brainard Carey, Praxis Center for Aesthetic Studies
"Jeannie’s paintings embody a bold re-visioning of abstract painting. The paintings seem to live in a realm between motion and stillness, micro and macro seeing at the same time. This simultaneousness makes for a vigorous dynamic of what exists as imagination and what is perceived. The work is exciting, the color palette luscious, the overall impact is breathtaking. Alchemy!"
—Rose Austin, Photographer, Educator, and former director of the Massachusetts Culture Council
"Jeannie Motherwell’s new paintings span the distance between far flung galaxies and the crust of the earth. Much like Gaston Bachelard’s reflections on intimacy and immensity, they speak of memories and dreams, evoking—improbably, delightfully—both the solidity of landscape and transparency of smoke."
—Necee Regis, Writer/photographer
"The sensual stain of Jeannie Motherwell’s paintings evoke the change of seasons – fall color, a balance of warmth with the impending chill, slicked over a ground of winter white. Like the first frost over newly fallen leaves."
—Erin Becker, Norma Jean Calderwood Director, Cambridge Art Association
"Jeannie Motherwell’s beautifully fluid new paintings are a startling departure from the torn edges of her previous collages, as if some angst has been resolved through harmonies of happiness, offering recognitions of wonder that only had been latent in earlier anxieties. If Rorschach discovered that even an ugly shape can become enormously appealing if the image is flopped, Motherwell, in these acrylics on Claybord and canvas, transcends symmetry to achieve transformative mystery."
—Christopher Busa, Founder/Editor, Provincetown Arts Magazine
"In each of her works there's nearly as much that you can identify as you can't—the abstract and the figurative coexist matter-of-factly, like a shaman conversing with a ghost."
—Christopher Millis, Editor, artsMEDIA Magazine and Professor, Boston University
"Ms. Motherwell's paintings and collages speak to the heart, the spirit, and the mind—at several levels."
—Dan Cooper, Writer
"The most important tool the artist fashions through constant practice is the faith in his ability to produce miracles when they are needed. Pictures must be miraculous; the instant one is completed, the intimacy between the creation and the creator is ended. He is an outsider. The picture must be for him, as for anyone experiencing it later, a revelation, an unexpected and unprecedented resolution of an eternally familiar need."
"Looking at my paintings as if they were painted by a woman is superficial, a side issue, like looking at [Franz] Klines and saying they are Bohemian. The making of serious painting is difficult and complicated for all serious painters. One must be oneself, whatever."
—Helen Frankenthaler, when asked by Henry Geldzahler what it felt like to be a woman painter
". . . One might truthfully say that abstract art is stripped bare of other things in order to intensify it, its rhythms, spatial intervals, and color structure. Abstraction is a process of emphasis, and emphasis vivifies life.”
—From Robert Motherwell’s intervention in the symposium “Symposium on American Abstract Art” held at MoMA, in 1951
"Reason and logic do not belong in a work of art. It should approach the state of a dream."
—Giorgio de Chirico
"When I see something I react to it and I see it, and that's the equivalent of what I felt. . . . I give it to you as spectator, and you get it or you don't get it . . . but there's nothing on the back of the print that tells you what you should get."
SOLO and TWO-PERSON EXHIBITIONS
2018 Rochester Museum of Fine Arts Color Stories: Selected Works by Jeannie Motherwell, Rochester, NH
2017 Rafius Fane Gallery POUR. PUSH. LAYER., Boston, MA
2013 - Lynne Scalo Design New Paintings, Westport, CT
2002 - 2011 Lyman-Eyer Gallery, Provincetown, MA
2007, 2010 Boston University, Metropolitan Gallery Paintings and collages, Cambridge, MA
2000 - 2001 Boathouse Gallery Provincetown, MA
1999 Cambridge Public Library Cambridge, MA
1978 - 1981 Provincetown Group Gallery Provincetown, MA
1974 Bard College Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
2018 AMP Gallery Provincetown, MA
2017 Liquid Art House Boston, MA
2017 Galatea Fine Art The NEW ENGLAND COLLECTIVE VIII, Boston, MA
2016 Miami Beach Convention Center Art Basel Art Weeks 2016, Miami Beach, FL
2016 AMP Gallery Sanctioned Spaces, Provincetown, MA
2016 Cambridge Art Association, 15th National Prize Show Recital, Cambridge, MA
2016 Atlantic Works Gallery Boston Biennial 3, Boston, MA
2015 - Joy Street Artists Open Studios, Somerville, MA
2015 Brickbottom Gallery DREAM WEAVERS, Somerville, MA
2015 ArcWorks Gallery Artsy Autumn, Peabody, MA
2015 Via Garibaldi 1791 ArtVenice Biennale 3, Venice, Italy
2014 Atlantic Works Gallery Boston Biennial 3, Boston, MA
2014, 2015 Somerville Museum Artists' Choice, Somerville, MA
2013 Brickbottom Gallery Chain Reaction, Somerville, MA
2012 Antiques & Art Avant-Garde Greenwich A fundraiser for the Bruce Museum and Greenwich Historical Society, Greenwich, CT
2004 - 2012 Lyman-Eyer Gallery, Provincetown, MA
2012 Acme Fine Art Provincetown Views, Boston, MA
2010 Fay Chandler Gallery 10th Annual Small Works, Cambridge, MA
2010 Cambridge Arts Council Gallery Cambridge Open Studios Salon Preview Exhibition, Cambridge, MA
2009 Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM) Generations Exhibition, Provincetown, MA
2001 - 2009 Maud Morgan Visual Arts Center, Sacramento St. Gallery Small Works, Cambridge, MA
2005 Newton Free Library Rock, Paper, Scissors, Newton, MA
2003 Monroe Center for the Arts Landscapes, Lexington, MA
2003 Art of July 10th Annual, Boston, MA
2003 Boston State House Exhibition Invitational: Travel, Boston, MA
2003 Color Stories, Inc. Competitive Exhibition, Boston, MA
2002, 2003 Stebbins Gallery Cambridge, MA
2002 New England School of Art & Design at Suffolk University Special 9/11 Exhibition and Event, Boston, MA
2002 TransCultural Coaster Project Destination: The World featuring 100 Artists Plus (Curated by Charles Giuliani), Boston, MA
2002 Lynn Arts Possibilities 2nd Annual Mixed Media, Lynn, MA
2002 New England School of Art Digital City: New Squirts for Now People, Boston, MA
1999 - 2001 Provincetown Art Association & Museum (PAAM) Provincetown, MA
2000 Gallery 57 Cambridge Arts Council, Cambridge, MA
1998 - 1999 DNA Gallery Provincetown, MA
2017 "Jeannie Motherwell: Her Art Stands by Itself," by Dirk Vanduffel, Artdependence Magazine, Belgium, October, 2017
2017 "Jeannie Motherwell's paintings revel in abstraction," by Cate McQuaid, Boston Globe, October 13, 2017
2017 "Jeannie Motherwell: Pour. Push. Layer. at Rafius Fane Gallery," by James Foritano, Artscope, September/October, 2017
2017 "SOWA FALL PREVIEW: CHANGES IN THE AIR," by Suzanne Volmer, Artscope, September/October, 2017
2017 POUR. PUSH. LAYER.," by Susan Rand Brown, Art New England, Vol. 38, Issue 5, September - October, 2017
2017 "Jeannie Motherwell at her SoWa Boston Exhibit in the Rafius Fane Gallery," video interview by Artscope Magazine's Suzanne Volmer, September, 2017
2016 "Boston Based Artist Jeannie Motherwell Draws Structures From Uncertainty"," THE SILO, November 28, 2016
2016 ""Jeannie Motherwell"," Interview from Yale University Radio WYBCX, November 16, 2016
2016 "Jeannie Motherwell's Provincetown work is haunted by the Patricia Marie," Provincetown Banner, Vol. 22, Number 26, October 13, 2016
2016 "Dancing with a creative partner gently leading me into moves I have not yet experienced." Jeannie Motherwell, interviewer: Kit Kennedy, San Francisco Peace and Hope, Issue 5
2016 "Sanctioned Spaces," by Jeannie Motherwell, Vasari21, April 5, 2016
2015 "Tide No. 2," Home page of San Francisco Peace and Hope, downloaded April 24, 2015 (Acrobat pdf file)
2014 "Ebbing," Masthead/cover of Art Connection, Fall/Winter, 2014
2014 San Francisco Peace and Hope "The Book", wrap around book jacket featuring "Tide 2"
2014 "'One Thing and One Thing Only - To Paint'," interviewer: Kit Kennedy, San Francisco Peace and Hope, Issue 4
2014 "Night Rhythms" San Francisco Peace and Hope," Issue 4, Chapter 1
2014 "Elementary" and "Circle of Life," Avenue, April, 2014, page 94
2013 "Elementary" and "Circle of Life" in "Rooms with a View 2013," Quintessence, November 18, 2013
2013 "Dance," Hamptons Cottages and Gardens, July 15, 2013
2013 "'Never Give Up the Joy and Awe of Exploration,' An interview with painter Jeannie Motherwell," interviewer: Kit Kennedy,
San Francisco Peace and Hope, Issue 3
2013 "Perfect Storm," San Francisco Peace and Hope, Issue 3, Chapter 1
2013 "River Run," San Francisco Peace and Hope, Issue 2, Chapter 2
2012 "Patricia Marie: Abyss," San Francisco Peace and Hope, Spring / Fall issues, 2012
2012 "Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler and Cape Cod Influence the Works of Jeannie Motherwell," by Jeannie Motherwell,
Journal of the Print World, Vol. 35, Number 1, January, 2012
2011 "Dune with Dreams," Good Samaritan Medical Center, Emergency Department, audio guide play audio
2011 "Jeannie Motherwell: New Work," by Jim Foritano, Artscope Magazine, July/August, 2011
2011 "Patricia Marie: Abyss" San Francisco Peace and Hope, Issue 1, Chapter 1 and "Elegy 911: An American Tragedy, Collage" Chapter 5
2011 "Jeannie Motherwell Paintings and Collages: 2004-2010," Boston University Metropolitan College, Winter, 2011 (Acrobat pdf file)
2009 "The Provincetown Roots of Jeannie Motherwell," Provincetown Magazine, Vol. 32, Issue 15, July 23, 2009
2008 "Capsule Previews," artscope, New England's Culture Magazine, November/December, 2008
2008 "Studio Show Recollections/Robert Motherwell," by Jeannie Motherwell, Provincetown Arts Magazine, Vol. 23, annual issue, 2008/2009
2008 "Robert and Jeannie Motherwell," Provincetown Art Guide
2007 "Year In Review 2007," by Sue Harrison, Provincetown Banner, Vol. 13, Number 34, December 27, 2007
2007 "Gallery Scene," Provincetown Magazine, Vol. 30, Issue 18, August 9, 2007
2007 "Administrator by Day, Artist by Night," by Rebecca McNamara, BU Today, August 8, 2007
2007 "Jeannie Motherwell Unlocks the Ghost of the Patricia Marie," by Susan Rand Brown, Provincetown Banner
2007 "Patricia Marie," Provincetown Magazine, Vol. 30, Issue 17
2007 "Artists: Art Talk," Provincetown Arts Magazine, Vol. 19, annual issue, 2007-2008
2007 "On display at the MET Gallery," Boston University Metropolitan College, commencement 2007
2006 "Jeannie Motherwell & Friends @ Lyman-Eyer," Provincetown Magazine, Vol. 29, Issue 21, August 31, 2006
2006 "Making a Bid," Boston Globe 'Sidekick'
2005 "Sea Change," American Airlines 'American Way,' December 1, 2005
2005 "Around P'town," Provincetown Banner and Advocate, July 30, 2005
2005 "Open Studios: Art in Context," by Kristin Lambert, artsMEDIA Magazine, May/June, 2005
2005 "Artists: Art Talk," Provincetown Arts Magazine, Vol. 18, annual issue, 2004/2005
2005 "Faculty artwork," Boston University Metropolitan College, Winter 2005
2005 "Weld, Click, Rip: Three North Cambridge Artists join forces for an exhibit," by Chris Helms, Cambridge Chronicle
2004 "The Seen and the Unseen, Jeannie Motherwell and Deborah Barlow Show New Work," by Brenner Thomas, Editor,
Provincetown Magazine, Vol. 27, Issue 12, June 24-30, 2004
2004 "On Display: Jeannie Motherwell Works on Paper," Life In Provincetown, Vol. 3, Issue 9, June 24, 2004
2004 "Artists: Art Talk," Provincetown Arts Magazine, Vol. 18, annual issue, 2003/2004
2002 "Finding the Light: Artist's Statements," by Stuard Derrick, Provincetown Magazine, Vol. 25, Issue 25 (September 19–25, 2002)
2002 A Sense of Place: An Anthology of Cape Women Writers by Gillian Drake, published by Shank Painter Publishing
2002 "The Gallery Scene," Cape Arts Review
2002 "Art Talk," Provincetown Arts Magazine
2002 "Portrait of an Artist: Jeannie Motherwell," by Stuard Derrick, Provincetown Magazine Vol. 25, Issue 18, August 1-7, 2002
2002 "Open Studios Offers Artists, Public A Chance To Interact," Cambridge Chronicle
2002 "Peek Behind the Painting," by David Ortiz, Cambridge Tab, April 26
2001 On Equal Ground: Photographs from an Artist's Community by Norma Holt, Provincetown Art Association & Museum (PAAM)
2000 artsMEDIA Magazine, Summer Issue
2000 "Jeannie Motherwell: Painting Again," by Dan Cooper, P'town Women Magazine
1999 "Beyond the Windows: A Conversation with Jeannie Motherwell," by Peter Alson, Provincetown Arts Magazine
1999 "Works in Progress," The Cambridge Tab
1980 Face of the Artist: Photographs by Norma Holt through Provincetown Art Association & Museum (PAAM) Exhibit
2016 "Limitless," Vasari21.com "Pic of the Day" on Facebook and Instagram
2016 15th National Prize Show Cambridge Art Association, Recital, Acrylic on canvas on board (Juror: Paul C. Ha, Director, MIT List Visual Arts Center)
2016 Visual Arts Artist Fellowship Somerville Arts Council
2015 1st Prize, Artsy Autumn ArcWorks Gallery, Riskful Training, Acrylic on Encausticbord (Juror: Erin Becker, Norma Jean Calderwood Director of the Cambridge Art Association)
2015 Black & White 2015 Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, A Sacred Trade (Juror: Christiane Paul, Curator of New Media Arts, Whitney Museum of American Art; New York, NY)
2013 Artist of the Week The Art Connection
2009 - Corporate Art Program deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum
2009 Home Is Where The Art Is Children's Hospital Boston
2008 Advisory Board, Cambridge Arts Council Cambridge Open Studios (COS)
2003 - 2007 Public Art Commission Advisory Committee Cambridge Arts Council
2003 Juror, Monroe Center for the Arts, Competitive Landscape Exhibition
2002 Best In Show, Annual Open Juried Photography Show Stebbins Gallery, Cambridge (Juror: Paul Weiner)
2000 National's Competition Finalist Provincetown Art Association & Museum (PAAM)
Cambridge Art Association (CAA) 2016 -
North Cambridge Arts (NoCa) 2000 -
Joy Street Artists 2014 -
AMP Gallery Provincetown, MA
Lynne Scalo Design Greenwich, CT
M Fine Arts Galerie Palm Beach, FL
Rafius Fane Gallery Boston, MA
Boston University, Graduate Program in Arts Administration, Program Assistant 2002-2015
Cambridge Arts Council Public Art Commission 2003-2007
Bruce Museum, Education Department 1994-1997