Like Us!

Worth Watching
  • Empires - The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance
    Empires - The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance
    A fascinating and highly entertaining look at one of the most important families of the Renaissance era--the Medici.
  • Sister Wendy - The Complete Collection (Story of Painting / Grand Tour / Odyssey / Pains of Glass)
    Sister Wendy - The Complete Collection (Story of Painting / Grand Tour / Odyssey / Pains of Glass)

    “Sister Wendy Beckett has transformed public appreciation of art through her astonishing knowledge, insight and passion for painting and painters.” This set includes Sister Wendy's Story of Painting, Sister Wendy's Odyssey, and Sister Wendy's Grand Tour. Simultaneously delightful and scholarly--this is a must have for anyone interested in art history.

  • Exit Through the Gift Shop
    Exit Through the Gift Shop
    When British stencil artist Banksy traveled to Los Angeles to work, he came across obscure French filmmaker Thierry Guetta and his badly organized collection of videotapes involving the activities of graffiti artists. Inspired, Banksy assembled them with new footage to create this talked-about documentary, and the result is a mind-boggling and odd film (so strange as to be thought a hoax by some) about outsider artists and the definition of art itself.
  • The Impressionists
    The Impressionists
    A dramatization of the Impressionist movement as seen through the eyes of Claude Monet. Highly entertaining and informative.
  • The Impressionists: The Other French Revolution
    The Impressionists: The Other French Revolution
    A very personal and revealing look at the personalities that created Impressionism.
« Kenneth Noland: The Hard Edge | Main | Did You Know? »

Elaine de Kooning: A Fusion of Ideas

Elaine de Kooning - Self-Portrait #3 - 1946 - Oil on masonite - 75.6 x 57.5cm (29 3/4 x 22 5/8”) - National Portrait Gallery - Washington, D.C. (click photo for larger image)Elaine de Kooning (1918-1989) was a prolific artist, art critic, portraitist, and teacher during the height of the Abstract Expressionists era and well beyond. Much of her art fused abstraction with mythology, primitive imagery, and realism. Her work continues to receive increasing critical attention as she was, without question, also one of the most important artists, writers, and teachers to have worked in the 20th century. She was particularly noted for her witty, perceptive analyses of a wide range of art.

While Elaine did use gestural brushstrokes in most of her work, much in the tradition of the "action" painters, her work was figurative and representational, to some degree, and thus rarely as purely abstract as some of her closest contemporaries.

In the mid 1940s, Elaine and her husband, Willem de Kooning, were poorer than ever, and both were experiencing great difficulty in selling any work. In an effort to make money, Elaine painted the realist self-portrait featured here, and sold it to her sister for a sum of $20. She described it, at the time, as "good money." The pseudo-abstract touches in this otherwise classical portrait are very much in the style of artist Fairfield Porter, who was a close friend of the de Koonings, and whose portrait Elaine also painted.

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>