Willem de Kooning arrived in the United States in 1926 as a twenty-two-year-old stowaway from Holland, soon to become a leading figure in the emergence of abstract expressionist painting in New York. This volume presents over 100 illustrations of every phase of de Kooning’s artistic evolution, and explains the personal and art historical background behind his groundbreaking work and its critical reception.
Author Sally Yard details the progress of de Kooning’s career, from his brief stint as a WPA painter, to his first one-person exhibition of abstract work in 1948, Five years later, an exhibition of women painted in aggressive, lashing gestures stunned contemporaries, not only for the vehemence of the artist’s attack, but also for the reversal of direction from abstraction to figuration. The alternation and intertwining of these two genres remained fundamental to de Kooning’s work over six decades.
Lavish illustrations and Sally Yard’s accessible scholarly discussion make this book invaluable for anyone seeking to understand the work and impact of this twentieth-century master.
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