Willem de Kooning: Works, Writings, Interviews


by Sally Yard (Author), James Valliere (Author), Willem de Kooning (Artist), Harold Rosenberg (Contributor)

Willem de Kooning arrived in the United States in 1926 as a 22-year-old stowaway from Holland--soon to become a leading figure in the emergence of Abstract Expressionist painting in New York. This volume presents over 100 illustrations from each phase of de Kooning's career, and describes the personal and art historical background behind his work and its critical reception. Sally Yard, author of Willem de Kooning: The First Twenty-Six Years in New York, details the progress of de Kooning's career, from his brief stint as a WPA painter, to his first one-person exhibition of abstract work in 1948. Five years later, his series of women rendered in aggressive, lashing gestures stunned contemporaries, not only for their vehemence but for their supposed reversal in direction from "pure" abstraction to figuration. Of course, the alternation, struggle and intertwining between these two tendencies remained essential to de Kooning's work over six decades (as he once commented, "I was reading Kierkegaard and I came across the phrase 'To be pure is to will one thing.' It made me sick.") Featuring some of de Kooning's most remarkable writings, interviews with Harold Rosenberg and James T. Valliere, lavish illustrations and Yard's accessible scholarly discussion, Willem de Kooning: Works, Writings, Interviews is invaluable for anyone seeking to understand the work and impact of this twentieth-century master.

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