Willem de Kooning

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The art of Willem de Kooning, one of the most important artists of the post-World War II era, comprises an extraordinary body of paintings, drawings, and sculpture that spans more than sixty years of continuing innovation and investigation. In this full-scale new volume on the artist, de Kooning's life and career are traced from his humble origins in Rotterdam, where he was born in 1904, to his triumphant rise as one of the major figures in American art.

Diane Waldman, deputy ...

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Overview

The art of Willem de Kooning, one of the most important artists of the post-World War II era, comprises an extraordinary body of paintings, drawings, and sculpture that spans more than sixty years of continuing innovation and investigation. In this full-scale new volume on the artist, de Kooning's life and career are traced from his humble origins in Rotterdam, where he was born in 1904, to his triumphant rise as one of the major figures in American art.

Diane Waldman, deputy Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, offers a thoughtful essay on the artist's career and a well-considered selection of his most important work, through which the reader can trace the artist's stylistic evolution from his first figurative paintings of the 1920s to his famous black-and-white paintings of the late 1940s and his notorious Woman series of the 1950s. The Women of the 1950s are discussed in depth, as are his later abstract landscapes, his move to the Springs, East Hampton, in 1963, the development of an important body of sculpture in the 1970s, and his triumphant late paintings of the 1970s and 1980s. Waldman curated the important "De Kooning in East Hampton" exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in 1978.

Willem de Kooning joins a distinguished list of books in Abrams' acclaimed Library of American Art, which is published in cooperation with the National Museum of American Art of the Smithsonian Institution. It is enhanced by a chronology, a bibiliography, and an index.

112 illustrations, 52 in full color, 160 pages, 8-7/8 x 12"

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
While some critics see an artistic decline in de Kooning's output from the 1970s onward, Waldman, deputy director of the Guggenheim Museum, champions his ``great and innovative late body of work.'' Countering charges that his flamboyant ``Woman'' series is sexist because it portrays females as objects of male manipulation, the author retorts, ``This is how women were perceived in the 1950s.'' She finds de Kooning's goddess-whore icons ``as resplendent as any Venus that has come down to us through the ages.'' Combining stuffy solemnity and critical overkill, this study is nevertheless useful for its analyses of individual paintings. Its 112 reproductions (half in color) include urban landscapes, portraits fusing the real and the imaginary, black-and-white abstractions, knotty sculpture. Also here are the simple paintings of the '80s, an emptying out of all but essential shape, line and color. (April)
Library Journal
$35. art A straightforward, no-frills monograph on the life and work of one of the most important post-World War II artists. A prominent member of the New York School, de Kooning has, over 60 years, created a body of work that in its own way charts the development and direction of mid-20th-century American art. Selected works illustrate the evolution from figurative painting through the black-and-white period, the multiple studies and versions of the Woman series, the Hampton landscapes, the serious involvement with sculpture, and the current, open, essentially line and color paintings. The artist's relationships with contemporaries and with predecessors are examined. A sound contribution to this series. Paula Frosch, Metropolitan Museum of Art Lib., New York
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810911345
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/1/1988
  • Series: Library of American Art
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 9.25 (w) x 12.25 (h) x 0.87 (d)

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