new-york

Willem de Kooning

Xavier Fourcade, Inc.

Until now, one of the dilemmas expressionist painters had not resolved was how to make their painterly brushstrokes glide across the canvas with a balletic, airy grace. Until now, it seemed impossible to maintain a balance between being un-self-conscious and remaining in control. (Jackson Pollock did it, but only after he found another way to put down the paint.) Typically, the expressionist’s response to the despairing, disfiguring world has been a discordant barrage of paint. One could say that expressionists have continued to display a theatrical side more in tune with Wagner’s top-heavy materialism than with the pristine sensuality of Beethoven’s late sonatas. However, Willem de Kooning’s recent paintings force us to reevaluate the critical framework by which we have defined both his work and that of the Abstract Expressionists. The reason: he is the first artist to jettison the rhetoric

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