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Elaine de Kooning

oil paint canvas

Currently on view at Mint Museum--UPTOWN

Gift of the Mint Museum Auxiliary

"When I start, I don’t know what’s going to happen…. When you’re dancing, you don’t stop to think: now I’ll take a step…. you allow it to flow." -Elaine de Kooning Over the course of her career, de Kooning alternated between painting expressionistic portraits and more pure abstractions. "Farol" is a stunning example of the latter and is arguably one of the most successful abstract canvases in her oeuvre. It is part of a series of paintings on the theme of the bullfight, which de Kooning undertook after a trip to New Mexico in 1957. In bullfighting, the matador executes a farol by swirling his cape back and over his head to entice the bull to charge. Rather than depicting the massive form of the bull itself, de Kooning eloquently captures the energy, color, and motion of the performance. Although Elaine de Kooning was a member of the first generation of Abstract Expressionist painters, she has only recently gained renewed appreciation and attention through such exhibitions as “Women of Abstract Expressionism,” in which her work was prominently featured. During her lifetime, de Kooning and her art were often overshadowed by her husband, Willem, who was also her teacher. Yet, writing about her paintings, the movement’s leading critic Clement Greenberg noted that “while they relate to Willem’s, they nonetheless transcend that influence and succeed on their own terms.”

Accession Number: 2018.7


height: 55.75 inches
width: 78.625 inches

Copyright Information:
NEPL Mint signed nonexclusive license with artist's representative 2017

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