Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Elaine de Kooning - Sunday Afternoon, 1957

From Russell McNeil's blog: An active participant in the downtown scene of East Tenth Street, The Club and the Cedar Street Tavern, Elaine Fried de Kooning helped champion an approach to Abstract Expressionism which emphasized the physical... presence and dynamism of the human figure through strong, gestural brushwork. In contrast to her husband's interest in painting female figures--for which she was frequently both model and muse--she concentrated on depicting men in her art. An unabashed admirer of masculinity, de Kooning created portraits of her husband and friends such as painter Fairfield Porter, poet Frank O'Hara and dancer Merce Cunningham. "I became fascinated by the way men's clothes divide them in half--the shirt, the jacket, the tie, the trousers. Some men sit all closed up--legs crossed, arms folded across the chest. Others are wide open. I was interested in the gesture of the body--the expression of character through the structure of clothing."

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