Untitled (Woman) 無題(女)

DE KOONING, Willem ウィレム・デ・クーニング

Abstract Expressionist paintings are also termed Action Paintings, based on the idea which considers paintings not as representation of any object or theme but as traces of artists' actions in front of the picture surface. When de Kooning showed his "Woman" series in his one-man show at the Sydney Janis Gallery in spring 1953, some denounced it as a sign that he had chosen to return to figurative painting. De Kooning, however, had never made a conscious choice to abandon figurative art, and the woman was a subject he had pursued since the 1940s.rnIn this painting, an example of this series from the mid-1960s, the defying smile that characterized this series in the 1950s has been dissolved among the forceful brushstrokes and the stormy colors, and the shape of the woman's body is hardly recognizable even when we try to follow the gray lines. In effect, the woman, who is supposed to be the theme of this painting, is present only as a vague image that emerges out of the fields of pink that can be both the background and the skin surface. De Kooning, who asserted that it was meaningless to talk about a painting's being figurative or abstract, once remarked with some irony that "every painting has a face." In this, "Woman", which can be taken as an abstract piece, the whole pictorial surface might be a face which beckons the viewer to come closer and look deeper.rnrnrn
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Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
Untitled (Woman)
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Oil on paper, canvas
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