|Woman 1, 1950-52, |
Willem de Kooning
De Kooning was born in Rotterdam, Holland, in 1904. It was there he attended crafts school and then a traditional art academy. He was influenced by artists such as Piet Mondrian and Theodore van Doesburg, as well as Picasso's Cubism. Woman, 1 looks like it was painted one night in a wild, drunken frenzy by a woman-hating, crazed madman. No doubt, many who saw it visualized just such a scenario. In fact, it was anything but spontaneous. Though he didn't work on it daily, it took two full years to complete, going through constant, one might say almost endless, revisions. Near the end, de Kooning even went so far as to discard it. Then, weeks later, he rescued it from the trash, reworked it some more, then sent it off to be exhibited. Giving birth, especially to a new way of seeing and creating art, is never an easy process. And for those who have been through it, Rodney Dangerfield aside, it's no laughing matter.