Monday, February 6, 2012

Willem deKooning in January

How could I forget to add the deKooning Retrospective in my list of why January was great?!?! I suppose it works out becuase this really does require it's own entry. I mean at MoMA the installation got an entire floor, it's the least I could do. deKooning was of the Abstract expressionism style - a style that I love. Hard brush strokes, emotion in the dried paint - lots of dried paint. Jackson Pollock practiced this style as well. You know it, the splashes of paint, the huge canvasses, the ladders. I know a painter or two who would concur with deKooning's statement: "flesh was the reason oil paint was invented."

Untitled, 1977, I love this. The colors, the texture, the void.

deKooning was known for his Woman series that he created over a number of years and ultimately comprised a series of sketches and better known paintings. I spent a lot of time with these sketches and did he. They were adapted and changed over time and most aptly fit his "mantra" of painting: "I was never interested in how to make a good painting...but to see how far one could go." This painting is WomanII and probably my favorite of the series. Again, such depth and color. Emotion. I'm no art critic, I don't pretend to be one. I know what I like, much like when I paint. I've never taken a lesson, I've never much thought about what others think of my paintings. I just paint. I don't care how good it is or isn't. deKooning was reflective, at least in my opinion, he said "one nice thing about space is it keeps going." And it's true. It does. My take on matter what we do space just keeps going. It's one of those things we'll never control, no matter how hard we try, and lord knows people try.

One of deKooning's last paintings is one of my favorites, "The Rider, 1985." After spending hours on the journey of deKoonings work I came to this and it all came together. Here the emotion shifted. Clean lines, distinct color.
Another reason I love deKooning is him saying this: "The attitude that nature is chaotic and that the artist puts order into it is a very absurd point of view, I think. All that we can hope for is to put some order into ourselves."

(The three paintings here are three favorites, but I have a list, and I got to see them all. It was a good day at MoMA.)

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