In 1937, Motherwell heard the novelist and art theorist AndrÃ© Malraux speak at a rally concerning the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), provoking his interest in a moral issue that would provide the subject and inspiration for his work for the rest of his life. He ultimately produced more than 250 paintings and works on paper exploring the topic, allowing him to express in visual form what he described as a "funeral song for something once cared about." About the Elegies, Motherwell said, "After a period of painting them, I discovered Black as one of my subjects- and with black, the contrasting white, a sense of life and death which to me is quite Spanish. They are essentially the Spanish black of death contrasted with the dazzle of a Matisse-like sunlight." Created as an original lithograph in 1983, Black With No Way Out measures 15 x 37 5/8 inches (38 x 95.5 cm.), unframed, is hand-signed and numbered, from the edition of 98 published by Tyler Graphics, Bedford, NY with their blindstamp.