Tyler Green
Art-focused Journalism by Tyler Green

Tyler Green Modern Art Notes

The MAN Podcast: Mark Stevens on de Kooning

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This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast features biographer and critic Mark Stevens, one of the top experts on the life and art of Willem de Kooning. Along with co-author Annalyn Swan, Stevens wrote “de Kooning: An American Master,” which won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for biography. Stevens has also worked as the art critic for New York magazine.

De Kooning is currently the subject of a major Museum of Modern Art retrospective. The exhibition, on view through Jan. 9, 2012, was curated by John Elderfield. I reviewed the exhibition on MAN here and here. This week’s banner features a detail from de Kooning’s …Whose Name Was Writ in Water (1975).

To download or subscribe to The Modern Art Notes Podcast via iTunes, click here. To download the program directly, click here. To subscribe to The MAN Podcast’s RSS feed, click here. You can stream the program through the player below.

In our conversation, Stevens and I discuss:

  • His thoughts on the MoMA exhibition;
  • How knowing about de Kooning’s life can further appreciation and understanding of his art;
  • The importance of the figure — and in particular the female figure — was to de Kooning throughout his career; and
  • The several great series of Woman paintings — and how the Womans from the late 1940s may be underrated vis a vis the more famous 1950s Woman paintings.

In this week’s draft, Charlotte Eyerman joins me to discuss her Pacific Standard Time exhibition “Artistic Evolution: Southern California Artists at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.” Eyerman is the American director of the French Regional and American Museum Exchange and also works as an independent curator. She and I talk about how a many important artists, including Robert Irwin, Larry Bell and more, showed early works at the annual exhibitions of what is now the Natural History Museum, and how that work presages their more well-known art.

The Modern Art Notes Podcast is an independent production of Modern Art Notes Media. It is released under this Creative Commons license. For images of the works discussed on this week’s program, click through to the jump.

Willem de Kooning, Door to the River, 1960. Collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Willem de Kooning, Rosy-Fingered Dawn at Louse Point, 1963. Collection Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

Willem de Kooning, Pink Angels, ca. 1945. Collection of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, Los Angeles.

Willem de Kooning, Excavation, 1950. Collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Willem de Kooning, Asheville, 1948. Collection of The Phillips Collection, Washington.

Willem de Kooning, Woman, 1948. Collection of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington.

Willem de Kooning, Woman, 1949-50. Collection of Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, NC.

Willem de Kooning, Woman I, 1950-52. Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Willem de Kooning, Woman, 1950. Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Willem de Kooning, Woman and Bicycle, 1952-53. Collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Willem de Kooning, Zurich, 1947. Collection of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington.

Willem de Kooning, Orestes, 1947. Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Karl Benjamin, Vertical Stripes #3, 1959.

John Baldessari, Micropainting, 1960.

Robert Irwin, Lucky U, 1960.

Larry Bell, Rice Tea, ca. 1958-59.

Betye Saar, Lo, The Pensive Peninsula, 1961.

John McLaughlin, Untitled Composition, 1963.

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  1. […] here. To download/subscribe via iTunes, click here. To subscribe via RSS, click here. Click here to stream the show and to see the images discussed on the program. « Friday exhib: Carolee Schneemann at the Henry Blog Home Weekend roundup Tweet […]

  2. […] of this is discussed in greater depth on this week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast, which features de Kooning co-biographer Mark Stevens talking about the exhibition and de Kooning’s life. (More details on downloading this week’s show and subscribing to the podcast are at the […]

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  4. With de Kooning there is almost too much to take in. It’s abstract, but works to the point it isn’t complicated. Infact I believe artists today can take so much from his work, in a positive sense. The confidence in his use of colour and the brush strokes show someone who was in art for the long run. My favourite period of his work would be his last. The work is so pure and a great inspiration.

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