a blog of painting, abstraction, and contemporary art
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Cecily Brown and De Kooning

Cecily Brown / Skulldiver IV / 2006-2007 / Oil on linen / 85 x 89 inches  (215.9 x 226.1 cm) / gagosian.com

Cecily Brown / Skulldiver IV / 2006-2007 / Oil on linen / 85 x 89 inches  (215.9 x 226.1 cm) / gagosian.com

Willem de Kooning. (American, born the Netherlands. 1904-1997). Woman, I. 1950-52. Oil on canvas, 6? 3 7/8? x 58? (192.7 x 147.3 cm). Purchase. © 2008 The Willem de Kooning Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. moma.org

Willem de Kooning. (American, born the Netherlands. 1904-1997). Woman, I. 1950-52. Oil on canvas, 6′ 3 7/8″ x 58″ (192.7 x 147.3 cm). Purchase. © 2008 The Willem de Kooning Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. moma.org

So I’ve been thinking this week about these two paintings and painters, specifically about how they develop their forms and the space of the paintings. If we look first at Skulldiver IV  we see that the figural elements are drawn and painted to develop a sense of volume. The legs and arms are cylindrical, in fact, the forshortening on her arm reminds me of the outstretched arms of the figure in Caravaggio’s Supper at Emmaeus that wants to reach out of the canvas. In the same way, the figure in Skulldiver IV nearly wants to fall out of the bottom of the canvas on to the floor of the gallery. This is important because it functions to draw the viewer into the scene as a voyeur or participant standing in the room with the copulating figures.

More to come…

Tags: , , , , ,

2 comments

1 Scott Green { 11.16.08 at 6:04 am }

Curious

2 Gordon Fraser { 11.17.08 at 2:58 am }

John Yau in the Brooklyn Rail has this to say about comparison of Brown’s work to earlier abstract expressionists:

Cicely Brown has been viewed as an heir to Abstract Expressionism because of her wide, brushy strokes, but the comparison is faulty—her approach is a generic gloss of the painters associated with this tendency, not a reinvestigation.

Leave a Comment