The experience convinced him to take up painting full time. By the late forties and early fifties, de Kooning and his New York contemporaries, including Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, Adolph Gottlieb, Ad Reinhardt, Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko, became notorious for rejecting the accepted stylistic norms such as Regionalism, Surrealism and Cubism by dissolving the relationship between foreground and background and using paint to create emotive, abstract gestures. This movement was variously labeled Action Painting, Abstract Expressionism or simply the New York School.Until this time, Paris had been considered the center of the avant-garde, and the groundbreaking nature of Picassos contributions was frustratingly difficult to surpass for this group of highly competitive New York artists. De Kooning said it plainly: Picasso is the man to beat. De Kooning and this group finally stole the spotlight and were responsible for the historic shift of attention to New York in the years following World War II. De Kooning became known as an artists artist among his peers in New York and then gained critical acclaim in 1948 with his first one-man exhibition held at Charles Egan Gallery, at the age of forty-four. The exhibition revealed densely worked oil and enamel paintings, including his now well-known black-and-white paintings. This exhibition was essential to de Koonings reputation. This is arguably one of the most important paintings of the twentieth century. During this period, de Kooning gained the support of Clement Greenberg and later Harold Rosenberg, the two foremost and rivaling critics in New York. De Koonings success did not dampen his need for exploration and experimentation. In 1953, he shocked the art world by exhibiting a series of aggressively painted figural works, commonly known as the Women paintings. These women were types or icons more than portraits of individuals.
His return to figuration was perceived by some as a betrayal of Abstract Expressionist principles, which emphasized abstraction. He lost Greenbergs support, yet Rosenberg remained convinced of his relevance.
What seemed to some as stylistically reactionary, to others was clearly avant-garde. De Koonings dramatic rise to prominence between 1948 and 1953 was only the first act in a remarkable artistic career.While many of his contemporaries developed a mature signature style, de Koonings inquisitive spirit did not allow such constraint. Fighting adherence to any orthodoxy, he continued to explore new styles and methods, often challenging his own facility. You have to change to stay the same, [ii]. Is his frequently quoted adage. De Kooning was equally comfortable working on paper and canvas. In fact, paper allowed for an immediacy that appealed to him. From September 1959 to January 1960, de Kooning stayed in Italy, during which time he produced a large number of experimental black-and-white works on paper known as the Rome drawings. After his return, he traveled to the West Coast. While in San Francisco, he worked with brush and ink, but, more interesting, he experimented with lithography.
The two resulting prints known as. Became prime examples of Abstract Expressionist printmaking. By the late fifties, he had moved from women, to women in landscapes, to what seemed to be a return to pure abstraction, with works respectively referred to as Urban, Parkway and Pastoral landscapes; yet he never completely left the world of actual objects for pure abstraction. In 1960, he said, Its really absurd to make an image, like a human image, with paint today, when you think about it, since we have this problem of doing or not doing it.But then all of a sudden it was even more absurd not to do it. So I fear that Ill have to follow my desires. The figure reasserted itself, now in its more carnal form. In 1963, de Kooning moved from New York City to Springs, in East Hampton, Long Island. Manipulating space as a sculptor would, he designed and built a soaring, butterfly-roofed, light-filled studio and home in a quiet, wooded neighborhood where he worked through the sixties before moving in permanently in 1971.
The light and landscape of East Hampton reminded him of his native Holland, and the change in environment was reflected in his work. Colors softened and figures became loosely painted and fleshy, more go-go girl and come hither than angry and tooth-filled. He continued to experiment with his medium, adding water and safflower oil to make it slippery and wet, formulating what would seem to many an extremely difficult mixture to handle. On a brief trip to Italy in 1969, after encountering a sculptor friend, Herzl Emmanuel, de Kooning produced thirteen small figures in clay, which were editioned in bronze. In the early seventies he explored both sculpture and lithography, producing a sizable body of work while continuing to paint and draw.In this period, more graphic elements appear in his paintings, some with flat applications of paint as opposed to a more painterly approach. This may derive from his exposure to Japanese art and design while in Japan in early 1970. His lithographs seem to reflect the influence of Japanese ink drawing and calligraphy as many exhibit a newly gained sense of open space, which in turn is also reflected in some of the paintings. The 1970s decade was marked first by material experimentation and then by breakthrough. Because of or in spite of the explorations, the late 1970s were a prolific period in which he produced voluptuous, thickly painted works which are among his most sensually abstract. Visual struggle and wrestling are markers of much of de Koonings career. He was fortunate in his final decade to dispel some of the angst.
Coming out of a methodology of sanding, drawing, layering, scraping, rotating the canvas and repeatedly stepping back to consider each change, the pared-down and at times serene paintings of the eighties can be seen as de Koonings ultimate synthesis of figuration and abstraction, of painting and drawing, and of balance and imbalance. Year after year throughout the 1980s, de Kooning explored new forms of pictorial space as revealed by works with ethereal ribbon-like passages; or some with cantilevers whereby straight lines may float or abruptly stop and balance against broad open areas; or others of crammed, bold, lyrical spaces. Vividly colored, predominately linear elements were juxtaposed against subtly toned white areas. With his avowed inclination to embrace the ordinary, he was free to acknowledge the unintellectual, mundane or humorous characters or objects at times perceptible in his abstract paintings. This again exemplifies his insistence on freedom from doctrinaire ideas of what art should be.
It is also reflected in the spontaneity and simplicity of the light-hearted titles he gave to a few works in the 1980s, for example. The Key and the Parade.A Deer and the Lampshade. De Kooning had reached a more thoroughly open, less anxiously complex place in his artistic career.
Succumbing to the affects of old age and dementia, de Kooning worked on his last painting in 1991 and passed away in 1997 at the age of 92, after an extraordinarily long, rich and successful career. De Kooning never stopped exploring and expanding the possibilities of his craft, leaving an indelible mark on American and international artists and viewers. De Kooning was awarded many honors in his lifetime, including The Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964.His works have been included in thousands of exhibitions and are in the permanent collections of many of the finest art institutions abroad, including the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Tate Modern, London; and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; and in America such as The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Smithsonian Institutions Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Washington D. And the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. The item "William de Kooning Mixed Media on Canvas Painting-COA- Signed-Attr" is in sale since Saturday, January 19, 2019. This item is in the category "Art\Paintings". The seller is "dominoochstamps" and is located in Clifton, New Jersey. This item can be shipped worldwide.