“Order to me is to be ordered about,” Willem de Kooning said. Between Sense and de Kooning explores how de Kooning worked and thought about art, while respecting de Kooning’s own ambiguities and embrace of the abstract. Richard Shiff acknowledges de Kooning’s idea that art is not about concepts like progress or development, but is instead a sensory phenomenon.
The word “sense” in the book’s title carries a dual meaning for Shiff in relationship to de Kooning’s art—it is used here as both a sensation or feeling and as reason. Employing both definitions, Shiff addresses the difficulty in interpreting de Kooning’s work that has complicated its critical reception in the art and scholarly world. With detailed analysis of specific works from throughout de Kooning’s career, many of which have never been published or studied before, Shiff discusses de Kooning’s use of materials and his technical experimentation. He looks at the artist’s painting processes, highlighting his tendency to transfer images, even actual paint, from one work to another, and considers his creation of an exotica of the mundane.
Between Sense and de Kooning provides a much-needed analysis and appreciation of de Kooning’s complete oeuvre and will appeal not only to art historians but also to anyone curious to understand how such an independent and daring artist gained lasting recognition.
|Publisher:||Reaktion Books, Limited|
|Product dimensions:||8.60(w) x 11.20(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Richard Shiff is professor of art history at the University of Texas at Austin. His other books include Cézanne and the End of Impressionism: A Study of the Theory, Technique, and Critical Evaluation of Modern Art and Doubt.
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