De Kooning & Kline

Jackson Pollock was the most famous Abstract Expressionist, but he had lots of company.  He was part of a group of artists that came to be known as the New York School. Other painters in this group included Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline,  Mark Rothko, Arshile Gorky, Hans Hofmann, Adolph Gottlieb, Robert Motherwell, Philip Guston and Clyfford Still.  An art history class will fill you in on them, or surf the internet and be amazed.

The main thing to remember is that after World War II the center of the art world shifted from Paris to New York.

This is a pretty spectacular development, after all, Europe had thousands of years of art history behind it, and the museums to back it up.  What had changed?

Unfortunately, today we only have time for a brief look at two Abstract Expressionists:  William de Kooning and Franz Kline.  We will spend quite a bit of time with Mark Rothko, however.

Willem de Kooning

1904 – 1997

The idea of space is given to the artist to change if he can. The subject matter in the abstract is space.

I think I’m painting a picture of two women but it may turn out to be a landscape.

Willem de Kooning, Portrait of a Woman, 1940
Willem de Kooning, Woman I, 1950-52
Willem de Kooning, Woman IV, 1952
Willem de Kooning, Woman, 1954
Willem de Kooning, Excavation, 1950
Willem de Kooning, Composition, 1955

Franz Kline

1910 – 1962

The final test of a painting, theirs, mine, any other, is: does the painter’s emotion come across?

Franz Kline, Painting 2, 1952
Franz Kline, New York, New York, 1953
Franz Kline, Zinc Yellow, 1959