dinsdag, november 06, 2012

Willem de Kooning

Huis en atelier van Willem de Kooning in East Hampton rond 1981. (foto's: Jaime Ardiles-Arce)

"In the enormous, silent studio—surrounded by the complex, exuberant Abstract Expressionist paintings that have made him a major figure in 20th-century art—Willem de Kooning delights in recalling the building of his studio/home on eastern Long Island in the early 1960s. “I knew what I wanted, and designed the house myself. A friend of mine who is an engineer made sure that I placed the beams correctly. The workmen were very good indeed.”

Elaine and Willem de Kooning visited East Hampton, New York, in 1948 as weekend guests of artists Jackson Pollock and his wife, Lee Krasner. By 1961 Willem had purchased a house not far from the Pollocks’ in a densely wooded area still favored by artists and preferred by De Kooning to the luxurious estate section of the area because he finds the underbrush “biblical.” In addition, says Elaine, “The land, so near the water, and the quality of the light reminded him of his native Holland.” Elaine, herself a well-known painter and sculptor, maintains her own studio nearby.

“All the years I lived in New York [City], I lived and worked in lofts I fixed up myself,” Willem says. “They were large, but nothing like what I have given myself here.” He gestures at the butterfly ceiling that arches overhead. “I was lucky. A local lumberyard had a catalogue of steel trusses that were just what I needed to hold up this ceiling. When I ordered them I decided, almost arbitrarily, on the size of the studio.”

The wall of glass on the room’s northern exposure reveals the sheltering pine trees given to the painter by art collector Joseph Hirshhorn. Extra-wide doors on the south wall open to allow the removal of completed works. A skylight over Willem’s easel—a simple wood scaffolding—spans 40 feet of the studio’s width, providing the balanced light that was a major concern in planning the studio as a whole." (bron: Architectural Digest)

Gelukkig is het werk van Willem de Kooning weer te zien in het pas heropende Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Een hele zal voor hem alleen!