De Kooning at Skarstedt


De Kooning: Late Paintings is on view at Skarstedt, London, until 25 November. The exhibition focuses on the last decade of the artist’s 60-year career and showcases the radical visual departure the artist took from the dense impasto lines, after 1980s. “I have to change to stay the same”, de Kooning said.

A pioneering figure of Abstract Expressionism and one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century, de Kooning’s work underwent radical stylistic shifts from decade to decade, continuously reshaping and refining.

The flat-surfaced paintings on view in the museum-quality exhibition are layered with a range of prismatic colours (often yellow, blue, and green) with toned white and subtle pastel areas. The bold use of clear lines and elegant movements showcase fresh experimentation by the artist.

Drawing from fellow-master Henri Matisse’s cut-outs and the harmonious rhythm of The Dance, the paintings are vibrant and reach new levels of excellence.

Image: Willem de Kooning, ‘Untitled XXIX’, 1986, courtesy of Skarstedt