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Willem de Kooning

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Certain artists and critics attacked me for painting the ‘Women’, but I felt that this was their problem, not mine. I don’t really feel like a non-objective painter at all... It’s really absurd to make an image, like a human image. With paint, today, when you think about it, since we have this problem of doing it or not doing it. But then all of a sudden it was even more absurd not to do it. So I fear I have to follow my desires.
--
interview conducted by David Sylvester for the BBC, 1962; as quoted in Abstract Expressionism: Creators and Critics, edited by Clifford Ross, Abrahams Publishers, New York 1990, p. 45

 
Willem de Kooning

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In 1946 what I call my ‘Little Image’ began breaking through this (former) gray matter of mine. I felt fantastic relief that something was beginning to happen after all this time when there was nothing, nothing, nothing… …The canvas is down on a floor or table and I am working out of a tiny can. In other words, I have to hold the paint so I can move it. But I wouldn’t have been using Duco (industrial paint, ed.). My paint would always have been oil and I could get the consistency of a thick pouring quality in it by squeezing it into a can and cutting it with turp (turpentine, ed.) – the way I use paint today (1975, ed.)... ...The only thing I can say with absolute assurance is that my ‘Little Image’ work starts about 1946 and ends in 1949.

 
Lee Krasner
 

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It is the bareness of drawing that I like. The act of drawing is what locates, suggests, discovers. At times it seems enough to draw, without the distractions of color and mass. Yet it is an old ambition to make drawing and painting one. Usually I draw in relation to my painting, what I am working on at the time. On a lucky day a surprising balance of forms and spaces will appear and I feel the drawing making itself, the image taking hold. This in turn moves me towards painting -anxious to get to the same place, with the actuality of paint and light.

 
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