Monday, April 2, 2012

deKooning: a Retrospective September 18, 2011- 9 January, 2012, Museum of Modern Art New York 11 west 53rd St 10019; by craniv boyd.

deKooning: a Retrospective, September 18,2011-9 January, 2012, Museum of Modern Art New York 11 west 53rd St 10019; by craniv boyd. 

The sixth floor galleries of   the in recent years, renovated Museum of Modern Art in New York City, have a mammoth Retrospective of a titan of Modern Painting. The subject of this posthumous honor is,  the Rotterdam, the Netherlands born, yet for much of his life,  New York City based and East Hampton, Long Island based, Wilhelm deKooning. The Museum of Modern art, which normally has a standard deKooning, Woman One of 1951 1952, on continues display within the painting galleries on a lower floor, now does an immense service to the understanding of the larger ambit of deKooning's art, by mounting a stellar retrospective, long overdue.  

The exhibition gathers together many drawings, prints, and paintings from private collections, hence unavailable for public contemplation, along with Paintings and works form public institutions, for a exposition of a protean artist. Rare still life drawings in charcoal, dating from 1917, drawn when deKooning still lived in Holland, are placed along early figurative paintings and drawings soon after the artist emigrated to the New World, Newark, New Jersey. A self portrait with an imaginary brother, also occupies this room, both are masterful artworks of a deft draughtsman. Furthermore, both are sound proof for any-persons who would dispute the claim that later and expressionistic deKooning, possesses no artistic merit. The schism from realism, or naturalism, into an abstract expressionism, was made by an artist who could work within academic artistic conventions, was unsatisfied by those established rules and means, and in seeking "freedom" reinvented his method of painting time and time again.  

Key artworks from each of the periods of Wilhem deKooning's oeuvre are presented in distinct voluminous rooms,  chronologically arraigned. Woman One of 1951 occupies a larger wall together with other like paintings in the same woman as totem or taboo period. Excavation, a painting normally in Chicago  has its own wall, and ancillary or lesser known or smaller black and white paintings that predate Excavation surround it.  The development and changes of interest  that deKooning had are legible, when ordered thus. Apparently deKooning was a slow working artist, taking years to complete singular paintings, working, and reworking canvasses in a constant excruciating process. 

Buxom clam diggers, and naked grinning women on bicycles, wet paint lathered on other wet paints thickly, rooms of bronze hand-formed sculptures vaguely humanoid, much exuberance and joy of life is apparent in these art works. For plastic arts of painting, deKooning has art-objects that look strangely fleeting. His so-called "glimpse" of a smile or passing woman, a short-lived gaze, is ever-present in his figurative, as well as landscape, and abstract paintings. He, has some of a Dutch artists sensitivity for the volatile weather of coastal areas or the sea. The sea side paintings of the onset of a squall, by fellow countryman Jacob Van RuiysdaledeKooning  lends attention to moments of brief duration, committing those instances to canvas clay or newsprint paper. 

The gift zone near the elevator banks at MoMA capitalizes, coyly on one of the maxims of deKooning in regards to his artistic modus operandi. His quotes of "you have to change to stay the same." are glazed on a hot beverage mug. Placed for those fans that cannot cash-and-carry an original deKooning home. by craniv boyd.  


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