De Kooning: An American Master
This book has singlehandedly renewed my faith in the biography. I have never been in love with de Kooning's paintings, but I...more
As a musician, I'm always fascinated by any artist's creative process, but what's to be done if you get too close? Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan won the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Cir...more
There are many striking things about deKooning's story. The first is the total deprivat...more
How does one pin down Willem de Kooning, the master of impasto and ambiguity? An artist that refused any reconciliation, de Kooning’s reputation for enraging and enthralling is writ large and real in this vast biography. The success of this text is two-fold. First, through exhaustive research and analy...more
There was a major de Kooning retrospective at MOMA in 2011-2012 with 200 works, around the time this book was released:
I won't label it a spoiler, because there is so much I left out, but if you hate knowing anything about a book, then you might want...more
It made me want to forget his life, remember his pictures. I must see the MOMA retrospective!
1. At the end of section 1 -- Holland -- I am disgusted with 22-year-old de Kooning. He stowed away on a ship bound for America without saying goodbye to his mother! or father (they lived apart). or the big sister who supported him in so many ways. Ingrate!
2. de Kooning quickly found work (interior design) & women (first one, then another, then another... sometimes all in same bed). After...more
Once De Kooning is established as an artist, the narrative stu...more
There's something huge-seeming about de Kooning's life, and it fittingly deserves no less...more
Critics unreservedly praise Stevens's and Swan's opus as a masterpiece in art writing, a landmark biography, and a fascinating look at early 20th-century New York. Several laud the writers' meticulous research and eloquent style, and most appreciate the balance with which the authors explore de Kooning's more human aspects, such as chronic infidelity and probable Alzheimer's Disease. Reviewers single out this tome as a gripping read for both fans of the painter and the uninitiated.
This is an ex...more
Another good thing about this book is that you don't need to be an art historian to appreciate the detail and the recounting of de Kooning's life--both in and out of the art world.