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Painted on a piece of cardboard attached to part of a wooden crate, Ulysses dates from a period when Motherwell was attracted to Surrealism and experimented with various types of automatism. This painting is named after James Joyce's modernist novel Ulysses, whose ‘stream of consciousness’ technique involved transcribing the free flow of an individual’s thoughts. Joyce's style of writing had a profound effect on Motherwell, who believed that art should be an expression of the innermost thoughts and feelings of the artist.

August 2009