de Kooning: A Retrospective

The first stop on my recent trip to NYC – MoMA’s featured exhibition of the works of Willem de Kooning.   A lover of contemporary art, this exhibit showcasing over 200 pieces from public and private collections spanning nearly seven decades of the abstract expressionist’s work was not to be missed.   Known for his intense use of color, de Kooning’s thick painterly brush strokes (some so gooey they looked like they were still wet) truly reflect his oft-quoted mantra: “Flesh was the reason oil paint was invented.”   As does the exhibit’s abundant collection of the Woman series and the coveted Pink Angels.  The colors and textures were so intensely bold and vivid.  It was pretty amazing.  If you have the opportunity to see this exhibition in person, don’t miss it!   

At 6′ 3″ x 58″, Woman I was anything but quiescent.  The whole series was very striking and aggressive.

Woman, I. 1950-52.

The colors beamed in this 1943 biomorphic abstraction.

Summer Couch. 1943.

Pink Angels is among my favorites.  I love the unexpected use of pink, a common color throughout his body of work. 

"Pink Angels." 1945. Oil and charcoal on canvas.

 I was enamored with this abstract landscape.  It stuns at 70 x 6′ 8″.

Two Figures in a Landscape. 1967.

If you can’t make it to the Museum of Modern Art, you can still indulge with the handsome hardcover.  Your coffee table will thank you!  It’s on my wish list.

By John Elderfield. $75 ($55 for paperback)

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