sábado, 28 de outubro de 2006


willem de kooning
untitled (figure in a landscape)
preço estimado: 650.000 - 850.000 USD


When I moved into this house, everything seemed self-evident. The space, the light, the trees – I just accepted it without thinking about it much. Now I look around with new eyes. I think it’s all kind of a miracle.
Willem de Kooning

Willem de Kooning returned his focus to painting in 1975 after two years of devoting himself primarily to making sculpture. In this resurgence of artistic creativity and with a newfound confidence, de Kooning produced an extraordinary body of work that would soon become one of the most highly regarded series of his long career. During this period, de Kooning experimented with varying levels of image abstraction and morphology. The sunlight, dunes, bright blue water and deep green landscapes of Long Island increasingly informed de Kooning’s representation of the female form, and as a result the two subjects merged. As Thomas Hess stated, “Woman, for de Kooning, is the human equivalent of water; more than a vessel, she embodies it in planes of rippling flesh.” (Harry Gaugh, de Kooning, New York, 1982, p. 109)

Though highly abstracted and gestural, the figurative element in Untitled (Figure in a Landscape) maintains a powerful presence even as the form appears to be engulfed by the turbulent, watery background. The overall effect is a tapestry of marks in a stunning orchestration of color and brushwork. The energy with which de Kooning applied the paint is palpable; the bravado of the brushstrokes is keenly sensed in the strong blue strokes splashing over the figure’s head. Other than the well defined arms and head, the rest of the figure’s body is subsumed by the watery paint application of the lower region. The swirling reds, blues and fleshy pinks of Untitled (Figure in a Landscape) highlight de Kooning’s reputation as a superb colorist. The group of paintings produced from 1975-1977 have long been noted as being the most direct reference to liquidity and flow in de Kooning’s work. Having left Manhattan and living full time in East Hampton, de Kooning explained: “I wanted to get in touch with nature. Not painting scenes from nature, but to get a feeling of that light that was very appealing to me, here particularly. I was always very much interested in water…I reflected upon the reflections on the water…I do that almost every day.” (Harold Rosenberg, de Kooning, New York, 1973, pp. 48, 50) Untitled (Figure in a Landscape) is a beautiful and lively representation of the watery landscapes and figurative forms that de Kooning so expertly merged in his late seventies renaissance.

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