"Willem de Kooning - The Artist's Materials" by . Lake

Willem de Kooning - The Artist's Materials . Lake

Getty Publications - (Yale)
Paperback / softback
Publication date:
11 Nov 2010
Getty Publications
112 pages: 255 x 189 x 9mm
34 colour & 17 b&w illustrations


This is the first systematic and truly methodical study of de Kooning's idiosyncratic working methods and use of materials. This in-depth study of the paintings of Willem de Kooning (1904-1997), Dutch-born American abstract expressionist painter, from the 1940s through the 1970s breaks new ground in its analysis of the artist's working methods and yields new information about previously unreported materials. De Kooning's idiosyncratic working methods have long provoked intense speculation and debate among conservators and art historians, primarily on the basis of visual inspection and anecdotal accounts rather than rigorous technical analysis. This is the first methodical study of de Kooning's creative process to use comprehensive scientific examinations of the artist's pigments, binders, and supports, to inform art historical interpretations, thereby presenting a key to the complicated evolution of the artist's work.

Susan F. Lake is head of collection management and chief conservator at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C. In the post-World War II era, de Kooning painted in a style that came to be referred to variously as Abstract expressionism, Action painting, and the New York School. Other painters that developed this school inc. Jackson Pollock, Arshile Gorky, Mark Rothko, and Robert Motherwell.