Here’s a portrait of Willem de Kooning, drawn on a reproduction of his painting, Parc Rosenberg. A Dutch immigrant, he helped lead a movement which would help define American painting on its own terms. Up until the the mid 20th century, there was a perception that European artists contributed all the big breakthroughs in the evolution of painting. Along came a group of NY painters, the abstract expressionists, who were the first to break away from figurative art altogether. Their act of painting went after emotional expression, and emphasized creative spontaneity. As a leader of this group, Mr. de Kooning helped stimulate a dialog about the definition of art, the act of painting, the boundaries of creative expression, and where painting would go next. To be fully appreciated, his paintings must be seen in person. They are spectacular.
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