unfurling a life of creative exuberance
Last Updated : GMT 07:29:46
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Unfurling a life of creative exuberance

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Unfurling a life of creative exuberance

Washington - Arabstoday

The Museum of Modern Art has never known quite what to do with Willem de Kooning. You can package Jackson Pollock as drips and Barnett Newman as zips, but de Kooning, who painted both opulent abstractions and big, blowsy dames, resists easy branding. So, apart from a show of late work in 1997, the museum has neglected him, until now.With the opening of “De Kooning: A Retrospective” this coming Sunday, decades of overdue debt are paid in full. The show, which fills MoMA’s entire sixth floor with some 200 paintings, drawings and sculptures, is exhaustively comprehensive, exhaustingly large and predictably awe-inspiring. It not only positions de Kooning far forward in a 20th-century American cavalcade of stars, it turns his career into a kind of Rose Bowl float of creative exuberance and invention.Most usefully, the show lets de Kooning be complicated: it presents his art as a bifurcated yet unitary phenomenon. John Elderfield, chief curator emeritus of painting and sculpture at MoMA, unfurls seven decades of work through as many galleries. In each we see abstract and figurative paintings of roughly the same date not just side by side but interacting, intertwining, merging identities; abstraction breathes, smiles and bleeds; figures shimmer and shudder apart into color and line.In its shape the show adheres to a classic cradle-to-grave survey model, beginning with a still life that de Kooning painted at the age of 12 in his Dutch hometown, Rotterdam. By his early teenage years he was already working in a commercial design firm, where he learned sign-lettering and paste-up techniques like tracing, copying and layering.All of this came in handy while looking for work when he first arrived, after stowing away on a freighter, in the United States in 1926. More important in the long run, his design training, with its emphasis on creating an organic-looking whole from many pieces, ended up as the formal bedrock of his art.He was lucky in being, by temperament, chronically hungry and omnivorous. In the first two sections of the show, which take us in giant steps up to 1949, we see him devouring his way through visual history past and present, gobbling up images from Ingres, Rubens, Soutine and Picasso; from contemporaries like Arshile Gorky; and from movie ads, Sunday comics and the graphics in New York police gazettes.While some artists and thinkers of the day were promoting an art of utopian purity, one that required shutting a door between art and life, de Kooning’s appetite took him in the opposite, though really no less utopian, direction. He wanted to open everything up, to bring — to squeeze — everything into art: high, low; old, new; savagery, grace.And so he did, in a laborious, pieced-together, piled-up, revision-intensive way. Far from being the sort of impulsive, gut-spilling artist implied by the term “action painting,” he was a deliberator. Every painting was a controlled experiment.Typically he would start with a drawing, add paint, draw on top of the paint, scrape the surface down, draw more images traced and transferred from elsewhere, add paint to them, and on and on. Given this process, it seems astonishing that he was so prolific, until you remember that he was virtually never not working, trying this, tweaking that, scrapping failures, starting afresh.Whenever the enormousness of the MoMA show gets you down, stop in front of one picture, almost any one, and linger. The basic, energy-generating dynamic of de Kooning’s art operates in microcosm in nearly every single thing he did after the mid-1940s.Experiencing the physical mechanics of his art close up, in action, is the real thrill of the show. To engage with it is to meet a person rather than just visit a monument.The late 1940s was when de Kooning first caught fire, when abstraction and figures first merged. That’s the story of “Pink Angels” from around 1945, the final painting in his first series devoted to images of women. From painting to painting, the single seated figure in the series grows less naturalistic, begins to lose its contours, to dissolve into its surroundings.

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

unfurling a life of creative exuberance unfurling a life of creative exuberance

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

unfurling a life of creative exuberance unfurling a life of creative exuberance

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Jordanian woman reveals her project

GMT 00:46 2017 Saturday ,11 November

Jordanian woman reveals her project
Arab Today, arab today Prince's vision spurs new Cornwall village

GMT 03:12 2017 Saturday ,18 November

Prince's vision spurs new Cornwall village
Arab Today, arab today Keep kids busy at Thanksgiving gatherings

GMT 11:14 2017 Friday ,10 November

Keep kids busy at Thanksgiving gatherings
Arab Today, arab today Israel ready to cooperate with Saudi

GMT 06:31 2017 Friday ,17 November

Israel ready to cooperate with Saudi
Arab Today, arab today Presenter Sherine Ramahi proud of her career

GMT 06:46 2017 Sunday ,19 November

Presenter Sherine Ramahi proud of her career
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Australian academic's book pulled

GMT 15:20 2017 Monday ,13 November

Australian academic's book pulled
Arab Today, arab today May under Brexit pressure at EU reform summit

GMT 02:14 2017 Saturday ,18 November

May under Brexit pressure at EU reform summit
Arab Today, arab today Delhi half-marathon to go ahead

GMT 03:51 2017 Saturday ,18 November

Delhi half-marathon to go ahead
Arab Today, arab today The history of solar eclipses

GMT 05:16 2017 Sunday ,20 August

The history of solar eclipses
Arab Today, arab today Tesla unveils its all-electric semi truck

GMT 02:59 2017 Saturday ,18 November

Tesla unveils its all-electric semi truck
Arab Today, arab today Baidu speeds up AI progress

GMT 11:46 2017 Friday ,17 November

Baidu speeds up AI progress
Arab Today, arab today Hanan Metawe denies apology for “Major Treason”

GMT 12:22 2017 Thursday ,16 November

Hanan Metawe denies apology for “Major Treason”
Arab Today, arab today paObama climate envoy slams Trump's rejection

GMT 16:04 2017 Friday ,17 November

paObama climate envoy slams Trump's rejection

GMT 08:06 2017 Wednesday ,15 November

Ayten Amer happy for “The Flood” success

GMT 11:15 2017 Thursday ,16 November

Angola oil boss sacked by father's protege

GMT 18:41 2017 Friday ,20 October

Designer Aql Faqih aspires to innovation

GMT 11:38 2017 Wednesday ,15 November

Unloved vultures fight for their survival

GMT 11:49 2017 Thursday ,17 August

Egyptian artist presents new collection of designs

GMT 06:13 2017 Friday ,17 November

Pope denounces healthcare inequality

GMT 05:18 2017 Thursday ,16 November

Boeing announces $27bn from flydubai

GMT 17:12 2017 Monday ,07 August

Al-Shawaifi reveals secrets of total solar eclipse

GMT 16:53 2017 Tuesday ,05 September

Youssra depended on colored foam
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday