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Artists’ sessions at Studio 35, April 21-13, 1950. From left to right: Seymour Lipton, Norman Lewis, Jimmy Ernst, Peter Grippe, Adolph Gottlieb, Hans Hofmann, Alfred H. Barr Jr., Motherwell, Richard Lippold, Willem de Kooning, Ibram Lassaw, James Brooks, Ad Reinhardt, and Richard Poussette-Dart. Photo by Aaron Siskind.
May 22, 1950

Motherwell is among the eighteen artists who sign an “Open Letter to Roland Redmond” published on the front page of the New York Times, protesting the conservatism of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s juried exhibition American Painting Today. The New York Herald Tribune dubs the artists “the Irascible 18” and the following January a group portrait of them appears in LIFE magazine.