Famous Artists Series - Willem De Kooning - Abstract Artist
Born in Rotterdam, Holland but later settling in Long Island, USA, Willem de Kooning (1904-1997) was a number one artist of the abstract expressionist school along with other artists; Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, Arshile Gorky, Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman. Following eight years of learning art at the Rotterdam Academy of Fine Arts and Techniques, de Kooning found its way to the United States in 1926. De Kooning settled in a Manhattan studio in 1927 following which he came beneath the influence of artist and critic John D. Graham and also befriended Arshile Gorky with whom he formed an in depth bond. De Kooning's first chance to indulge his creative genes came when he was appointed to work in the WPA Federal Art Project. He was involved with easel-painting and murals till he resigned in 1937. In 1938 de Kooning, influenced by Arshile Gorky, brought out the paintings'Two Men Standing ','Seated Figure'and'Man'that depict male figures. Once he'd worked on two series of abstractions entitled'Pink Landscape'and'Elegy '. Gradually, de Kooning seemed to go from abstract art to figurative abstract art, blending those two trends became a characteristic of de Kooning's art in the 1940s. Works of the period that display this fusion of the abstract and the figurative are'Woman ','Standing Man ', and the ultimate example,'Pink Angels '. From 1946 onwards de Kooning brought out some black and white renditions created with enamels -'Light in August'(1946),'Zurich'(1947),'Mailbox'(1947-8) and'Black Friday'(1948) In 1950 Willem de Kooning embarked on his most famous and representative abstract art - the'Woman'series. De Kooning had already managed the topic of ladies in the 1940s however now he'd devote himself fully to its study.'Woman I'began in 1950 and was completed in 1952. The Woman series continued until'Woman VI'which created a ripple in the art world these pieces were quite distinct from the art of one other Abstract Expressionists. Though the figure of the girl is seen in de Kooning's art, it isn't a strict form and it degenerates into a mixture of colours and textures. This combination of expressionism and traditional forms - the constant and the ambiguous - made de Kooning's works probably the most colourful of Abstract Expressionists paintings of the time. The imagery of the Woman series was the result of agitated brushwork combined with the use of high-key colours. It brings forth a female alive with all the sexual emotions of modern man. abstract artist Towards early 1960s De Kooning headed towards pure abstract art with the focus shifting from human figures to landscape.'Bolton Landing'(1957) and'Door to the River'(1960) feature similarities with the job of another artist of the Abstract Expressionism movement, Franz Kline, in the broad brushstrokes and calligraphic tendencies. De Kooning also embarked on his first sculptures modelled in clay and cast in bronze in Rome in 1969, during 1970-71 he was associated with creating life-size figures. In 1979 de Kooning also received the Andrew W. Mellon Prize whilst the Museum of Modern Art held a retrospective exhibition on de Kooning in 1997. This representative figure of Abstract Expressionism died on March 12, 1997 after creating some late works that haven't been studied yet. These paintings seem to move in to a new direction and display new trends, but have borne the brunt of gossip and negative criticism.