For a moment, the crowd that was constantly amassing around the painting singled out by the organizers of the MOMA’s Willem de Kooning retrospective as the masterpiece of his early period—Excavation (1950)—had dispersed.So my husband and I positioned ourselves in front of it to take advantage of what we knew was a rare moment of unobstructed viewing.
For a moment, the crowd that was constantly amassing around the painting singled out by the organizers of the MOMA’s Willem de Kooning retrospective as the masterpiece of his early period—Excavation (1950)—had dispersed.So my husband and I positioned ourselves in front of it to take advantage of what we knew was a rare moment of unobstructed viewing.Tags: Do The Ends Justify The Means EssayNew Grad Rn Resume And Cover LetterStanford Gsb Application Essay QuestionsLiterature Review On Child LabourObsessive Compulsive Disorder EssayWriting Online ContentSpreading Greenery For A Healthy Living Essay 300 Words
Everything, in retrospect, seemed to be contained in this beautiful little drawing.
The simultaneous edge and profile of the jar and pitcher that had made such an impression on us had become the elegant equivocal line that my husband was now pointing out to me in Excavation.
Both the artist and the patron knew exactly the audience toward which the work of art was directed..
Davis said that “this article deals with the artistic, social, and the economic situation of the American artist in the field of fine arts, regarding the situation in the broadest possible way, and does not intend to stigmatize individuals except as they are the name-symbols of certain group tendencies.” He ends the essay by saying that “an artist does not join the Union merely to get a job: he joins it to fight for his right to economic stability on a decent level and to develop as an artist through development as a social human being.”.
We spent almost as much time before it as we did before Excavation.
It was a deceptively simple, elegant drawing, conté crayon and charcoal on paper: I was completely taken with the certitude of the line, the perfection of the volumes, the articulation of the dry, cracking surface of the terra-cotta pitcher, the subtlety of the highlight on the dark, smooth jug. Already in his youth, my husband observed, de Kooning was approaching the almost pointillist optics of his great countryman Vermeer.
The essay describes the work habits and approach of some of the Abstract Expressionist artists, especially those doing “gestural” painting, such as Pollock and de Kooning, but on the whole the description fits most of them.
It is certainly true that the artists echoed the ideas and even the language of Rosenberg over a long period. Sutton gave a vivid account, not merely of Pollock, Baziotes, Tobey, Rothko, and other abstract painters, but of the environment in which their work had been received…. Sutton put for the first time questions which were to become familiar: ‘Do artistic movements exist in America which may be considered on an equal footing with those of Paris, London, and Rome?
Nevertheless, it was still an “easel” painting—the distinction was Clement Greenberg’s—and if de Kooning was after the more experimental overall look and feel of a Pollock, my husband thought this painting fell short.
He appreciated the psychic battle apparent in all the strenuous marks of doing and undoing that de Kooning was trying to orchestrate into a unity during the many months he worked on the painting, but the more time we spent looking, the more my husband questioned whether de Kooning’s “talent” was getting in his way: the tasteful dabs of bright color, no matter how many subversive techniques he invented in their application; his masterful line and contour, no matter how violently he worked to dislodge the figure from its own pictorial space; and most telling, his unconscious return to the center of the painting with an “x” to mark the spot, even as he tried to allow for more spontaneous composition.