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Willem de Kooning

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But one day, some painter used 'Abstraction' as a title for one of his paintings. It was a still life. And it was a very tricky title. And it wasn’t really a very good one. From then on the idea became something extra. Immediately it gave some people the idea that they could free art from itself. Until then, Art meant everything that was in it – not what you could take off it. There was only one thing you could take out of it sometime when you were in the right mood – that abstract and indefinable sensation, the aesthetic part – and still leave it were it was...
--
De Koonings speech on the symposium, at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 5 February, 1951

 
Willem de Kooning

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As you can see this is a composition of vertical and horizontal lines which will (in an abstract manner) have to express the idea of rising upwards, of magnitude. This is the same idea which used, for example, to be the guiding principle in the construction of cathedrals. Since only the manner of expression and not the representation has to express this general idea, I have not given any title. An abstract human mind will, of itself, receive the intended impression. I always confine myself to expressing the general.

 
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If the sensation that precedes the present by half a second were still immediately before me, then on the same principle, the sensation preceding that would be immediately present, and so on ad infinitum. Now, since there is a time [period], say a year, at the end of which an idea is no longer ipso facto present, it follows that this is true of any finite interval, however short.

 
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I have a title, which is the same one that I have always had.
But it's not political. I have a CBE, which I accepted very gratefully.

 
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