Tom Ferrara remembers Willem De Kooning in words and photographs.
Ferrara writes that "After meeting Bill de Kooning, one thing that first became apparent was that he had amazing skills of observation. Not only was he more visually active than everyone else but he also appeared to enjoy the act of seeing more than anyone. It seemed like he noticed everything and was able to find something extraordinary in the most ordinary of places."
Laurie Fendrich reviews the exhibition de Kooning: A Retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, on view through January 9, 2012.
Fendrich writes: "Many influences lurk in the work - Picasso, Matisse, Gorky, School of Paris contour-driven painting, surrealism, American toothpaste ads (those toothy mouths in his Women paintings). Yet de Kooning was no synthesizer. He brazenly pushed forward, giving paint enough leash to become its own actor out discovering its own boundaries. His hunt was for nothing less than to make a painting express the ineffable, terrible awe of existence itself."
In his weekly podcast, Tyler Green discusses the current de Kooning retrospective with pulizter-prize winner and de Kooning biographer Mark Stevens.
Stevens notes that "the revelation of the show should be, because the paintings have been not nearly discussed enough, is his late 70's work. Those particular paintings... are absolutly miracles... extremely juicy, gorgeous, heavy, passionate sorts of pictures. They're not like anything else in art."
As part of his blog series Paintings I Like Paul Corio reflects on the de Kooning retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and on how seeing the full range of de Kooning's oeuvre illuminates the "real problems" in painting.
"The real problems painting faced after Ab Ex and Color Field were the same problems that painting has faced for about 700 years... Periodically, you have to change the way you do it - you can't go on painting the way that the previous generation painted... DeKooning understood the ideas that were in the air at the time. He chose the ones that were useful to him and rejected the ones he had no use for. He mixed these together with his influences of the the recent and distant past, and most importantly added to the force of an intensely personal vision of how one should paint. I think that the contemporary painter, trying to figure out how to proceed in the impossibly complex art scene of the early twenty-first century, could learn a lot from this approach."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.