Monday, December 12, 2011

de Kooning and exploring

Willem de Kooning
This weekend I went to NYC to see the de Kooning retrospective. You can read a little bit about de Kooning and the show in these articles: NY Times  and the New Yorker. What I want to talk about is his explorer spirit. Here is a quote of de Kooning's, "I have to change to stay the same." You can see that happen through his 60 plus years of painting. The figure, lines and curves continue to words in his language, even though anything "representational" was looked upon with some disdain. My fascination lies with his "anything goes attitude."  When D. painted he tried any way possible to get the effect he wanted. Some were accidental. For instance, the newspaper print on the canvas happened only because he left newspaper on the wet oil to soak up the oil and liked what happened and kept it. And others were intentional. He tried not only linseed oil and damar varnish as mediums, but also water, casein, mayonnaise and egg (to name a few.) His choices of mediums make transparencies and webbing. Thick goop and peek-a-boo thin stripes.
There is a mug at the museum with his famous quote, "In art one idea is as good as another."  That's because de Kooning’s idea that art is not about concepts like progress or development, but is instead a sensory phenomenon.
Last quote from D. is "Flesh is the reason oil paint was invented."

That's it for now. I leave you with one of my "try anything to try to get the feel I want"small paintings. While the small ones are fun explorations, the big woodies I have been working on are possessing me for better or worse...more later.


Casey Klahn said...

The composition here really keys up the sky - that is wonderful.

Did you read the bio on D recently published? I enjoyed it. There he is in his mega studio on LI.

Liz Steinglass said...

I like his facial expression and the juxtaposition of him and the two very different paintings behind him. He seems so comfortable with himself. I think you need that kind of self-possession to take on the risk of experimentation, yes?

loriann signori said...

Hi Casey,
I read an older bio on him. I also took a course in Post War abstract Expressionist Artist and their methods from the MOMA. I find him fascinating in every way. Just to picture him as a stow-away aboard a ship bound for the USA at such a young age. It's as if he knew his own destiny.
Thanks about my small study. I am having a lot of fun with these...what can I do??? You never know!

Hi Liz!
Good observation. I am not quite sure about the seated figure painting. I do know that the large mostly white with curved lines are de Koonings from his last period of painting. He had dementia by this time I think.He is quite an amazing artist in so many ways!

Caroline said...

Your beautiful painting Loriann reminds me of one of Monet's haystack paintings in composition. You have brought the evening into this lovely scene. It is the light area on the horizon that makes this painting special for me. I have a book with paintings by D. He certainly explored and expressed his ideas on colour and form on large canvases making his individual artistic statement. The same attitude as children creating art simply taking risks and not worrying about the outcome.

helen said...

Wonderful image.

loriann signori said...

Hi Caroline, That's interesting. I guess Monet (my first love) will always affect my work. As for children maybe that is why I choose to teach our youngest artists.

Hi is a great pic of de Kooning. I agree. Thanks for dropping by!