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ORVILLE O. CLARKE, JR.


I hooked up with Robert Motherwell in the hopes of delving into the truth about the early years of his artistic career. But, as I was sadly to find out, truth is a very elusive and fleeting commodity.

We were driving through the dunes in Cape Cod in his red flop top Cadillac. The top was down, a Concorde ticket casually thrown in the back seat, and the wind was churning his cigarette ashes into a blizzard of grey, occasion ally blocking out the sun and the sights. I was asking a series of questions that were being seriously evaded. I kept getting the same answers that I had read in every book and magazine, which were, at best, half-truths.

Finally in frustration after we reached his beach house, I told him that I couldn't understand why a painter whose work dealt with the search for truth would not honestly talk about his life. What happened over the next few hours was a roller coaster ride of emotion. It was an overpowering tale of triumph and tragedy and the continual struggle to find one's self.

Unfortunately, Motherwell did not allow taping of interviews, so all I have are pages of scribbled notes and fond memories of my elusive search for truth.