Alexxa Gotthardt: Artsy
Willem de Kooning detested conformity. While he became one of the most influential painters of
Abstract Expressionism, he resisted association with the movement. Adhering to a single style—in particular, one that insisted on leaving representational imagery behind—was too limiting for the New York–based Dutch artist. Famously, he complicated pure abstraction by embedding figures within tempestuous slashes of paint and nebulous, biomorphic forms, as in his masterpiece Woman I (1950–52).
“Some painters, including myself, do not care what chair they are sitting on.…They do not want to ‘sit in style,’” he explained during a 1951 lecture, entitled “What Abstract Art Means to Me,” at the Museum of Modern Art. “Those artists do not want to conform,” he continued. “They only want to be inspired.” …Read More
Image: Willem De Kooning, Woman II, 1952, “Abstract Expressionism” at Royal Academy of Arts, London