Quote of Note | Holland Cotter

“Typically [Willem de Kooning] would start with a drawing, add paint, draw on top of the paint, scrape the surface down, draw more images traced and transferred from elsewhere, add paint to them, and on and on. Given this process, it seems astonishing that he was so prolific, until you remember that he was virtually never not working: trying this, tweaking that, scrapping failures, starting afresh.

Whenever the enormousness of the MoMA show gets you down, stop in front of one picture, almost any one, and linger. The basic, energy-generating dynamic of de Kooning’s art operates in microcosm in nearly every single thing he did after the mid-1940s.

Experiencing the physical mechanics of his art close up, in action, is the real thrill of the show. To engage with it is to meet a person rather than just visit a monument.”

Holland Cotter, in a review of the Museum of Modern Art’s de Kooning retrospective published today in The New York Times

(Pictured: Willem de Kooning, “Pink Angels,” c. 1945. Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles. © 2011 The Willem de Kooning Foundation/Artists Rights Society)