Este artículo examina el diálogo pictórico-poético entre Octavio Paz y Robert Motherwell, el eminente representante del arte expresionista abstracto norteamericano. Juntos produjeron un libro (Nueva York, 1987) que contiene 26 litografías en que Motherwell interpreta tres poemas de Paz, incluyendo el que éste había escrito sobre su obra. Analizando la difícil relación entre imagen pictórica y la poesía que la interpreta, o viceversa, pretendo mostrar que estos dos grandes artistas del siglo XX hicieron de ese diálogo una búsqueda humanista y metafísica. Finalmente sugiero que la conciencia de las dimensiones trágicas de la historia de México está presente en el encuentro de Paz con la pintura de Motherwell.

This article examines the pictorial-poetic dialogue held by Octavio Paz and Robert Motherwell, the preeminent representative of abstract expressionism in the United States. Together they produced a book (New York, 1987) that contains twenty six lithographs in which Motherwell interprets three poems by Paz, including one written about the painter's work. Looking at the difficult relation between a pictorial image and the poetry that interprets it, or vice-versa, I propose that these two great twentieth century artists engaged in such an exchange as part of a deeply humanistic and metaphysical quest. Finally, I suggest that Paz is aware of the tragic dimensions of Mexican history in his encounter with Motherwell's art.

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