Saturday, November 25, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Willem de Kooning (1904 – 1997)


Abstract expressionist painter, born in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
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Willem de Kooning
The ‘Women’ had to do with the female painted through all ages, all those idols, and maybe I was stuck to a certain extent; I couldn’t go on. It did one thing for me: it eliminated composition, arrangement, relationships, light – all this silly talk about line, colour and form – because that was the thing I wanted to get hold off.
Kooning quotes
I am always in the picture somewhere. The amount of space I use I am always in, I seem to move around in it. And there seems to be a time when I lose sight of what I wanted to do, and then I am out of it. If the picture has a countenance I keep it. If it hasn’t, I throw it away.
Kooning
What fascinates me about Van Gogh is that his sundries up everything. Maybe he was melodramatic but my point really is... if you are a painter you have to face that self-consciousness. You get dirty and pathetic; very miserable. It makes me self-conscious to talk about it. There is something corrupt on art. Nothing do with any ‘ism’ but a thing in nature loses its innocence and becomes a grotesque thing... maybe this difficulty is personal with me, and maybe it is something that other painters have in common. Perhaps it is also something of today. (conversation with W.C. Seitz)




Kooning Willem de quotes
I feel sometimes an American artist must feel, like a baseball player or something - a member of a team writing American history..
Kooning Willem de
I still think that Boccioni was a great artist and a passionate man. I like El Lissitsky’s painting very much. But Mondrian that great merciless artist, is the only one who had nothing left over. The point they all had in common was to be both inside and outside at the same time. A new of likeness!... for me to be inside and outside is to be in an unheated studio with broken windows in the winter.
Willem de Kooning quotes
The sentiment of the Cubists was simpler. No space. Everything ought to keep going! That’s probably the reason they went themselves. Either a man was a machine or else a sacrifice to make machines with... Personally, I do not need a movement. Of all movements, I like Cubism most. It had that wonderful unsure atmosphere of reflection – a poetic frame where something could be possible, where an artist could practice his intuition. It didn’t want to get rid of what went before. Instead it added something to it. The parts that I can appreciate in other movements came out of Cubism... It has force in it but it was no 'force-movement'.
Willem de Kooning
(in the Italian Renaissance) there was no ‘subject-matter’. What we call subject matter now, was then painting itself. Subject matter came later on when parts of those works were taken out arbitrarily, when a man for no reason is sitting, standing or ling down. He became a bather, she became a bather; she was reclining; het just stood there looking ahead. That is when the posing in panting began... For really, when you think of all the life and death problems in the art of Renaissance, who cares if a Chevalier is laughing or that a young girl has a red blouse on.
Kooning Willem de quotes
I feel now if I think of it, it will come out in the painting. In other words, if I want to make the whole painting look like a bottle, like a lot of bottles - for instance maybe the end of the day, when everything is very light, but not in sunlight necessarily - and so if I have this image of this bottle and if I really think about it, it will come out in the painting. That doesn’t mean that people notice a bottle, but I know when I succeed in it – then the painting would have this.
Kooning
There is a train track in the history of art that goes way back to Mesopotamia. It skips the whole Orient, The Mayas, And American Indians. Duchamp is on it. Cézanne is on it. Picasso and the Cubists are on it; Giacometti, Piet Mondrian, and so many... I have some feeling about all these people – millions of them – on this enormous track, a way into history. They had a peculiar way of measuring. They seemed to measure with a length similar to their own height.. ..The idea that the thing that the artist is making can come to know for itself, how high it is, how wide and how deep it is, is a historical one, - a traditional one I think. It comes from man’s own image.
Kooning Willem de
‘Nature then, is just nature. I admit I am very impressed with it. The attitude that nature is chaotic and that the artist puts order into it is a very absurd point of view, I think. All that we can do for is to put some order in ourselves. When a man ploughs his field at the right time, it means just that.
Willem de Kooning
The texture of experience is prior to everything else.




Willem de Kooning quotes
I think I would choose Soutine... I've always been crazy about Soutine - all of his paintings. Maybe it's the lushness of the paint. He builds up a surface that looks like a material, like a substance. There's a kind of transfiguration, a certain fleshiness in his work... I remember when I first saw the Soutine’s in the Barnes Collection... the Matisse's had a light of their own, but the Soutine’s had a glow that came from within the paintings - it was another kind of light.
Willem de Kooning
I make a little mystique for myself. Since I have no preference or so-called sense of color, I could take almost everything that could be some accident of a previous painting. Or I set out to make a series. I take, for instance, some pictures where I take a color, some arbitrary color I took from some place. Well, this is gray maybe, and I mix the color for that, and then I find out that when I am through with getting the color the way I want it, I have six other colors in it, to get that color; and then I take those six colors and I use them also with this color. It is probably like a composer does a variation on a certain theme. But it isn’t technical, it isn’t just fun.
Kooning quotes
The potato seems like a Romantic (organic) object... you can watch it growing if you don’t eat it. It is going to change – grow, rot, disappear. A pebble is like a Classical thing – it changes little if any... If it was big you could keep the dead down with it.. ..The Classical idea is not around much anymore
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