A guide to art in NYC, with families in mind.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Willem de Kooning: The Figure/Movement and Gesture

Willem de Kooning
 Woman, c. 1969
oil on canvas, 60" x 48" (152.4 cm x 121.9 cm) Private collection 
© 2011 The Willem de Kooning Foundation/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 
Photo by: Kerry Ryan McFate / Courtesy The Pace Gallery

For those who put a premium on thinking out of the box and would like to promote abstract thinking in your children,  I encourage you to take them to The Pace Gallery and introduce them  to the mind and method of artist Willem de Kooning.  Born in the Netherlands and deemed an American Master in his lifetime, De Kooning  is considered to be one of the world's foremost Abstract Expressionists.  His paintings were also termed " Action paintings," in that through technique they implied a kinetic energy of their own. Jackson Pollock and Franz Klein were among his peers. His influences were Surrealism and Cubism and particularly the works of Arshile Gorky and Picasso.  Although the artist was not inclined to use labels, these terms will immediately come to mind in the presence of powerful sweeps of color in broad brush stokes, smears and splatters.  Each canvas pulsating with synergistic energy as if in constant motion.  De Kooning felt that his paintings were always evolving and never in a state of completion. He was known not to sign his work until the moment they left the studio.  He sketched and erased, painted and  scraped, over and over, layer upon layer of oils and line proving the process to be as important as the idea.   It will be interesting and challenging to point out  how shape and landscape lose their boundaries as the complexity of the idea is reflected on the canvas.  The exhibit runs till July 29, 2011. 

-Edna Suarez

The Pace Gallery located at 32 E 57th street.  http://thepacegallery.com/