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Modern and contemporary art

Video transcript

we're on the fourth floor of MoMA looking at willem de Kooning's woman one from nineteen fifty fifty to a woman to there is an animal with bicycle and Marilyn Monroe and it's a whole circus theory of his return to the figure you know de Kooning had been trained in where was it Rotterdam and he trained as a traditional classical artists that figure was really important to him before this he had done a whole series of abstract paintings and this was really his return she's really ugly looking yeah a lot of people have what justifies the interpretation first you know you've got an emphasis on her breasts on her eyes I had now Lance but she's also spelled like and she's also deserve disfigured and sort of male gestural marks all over the female Museum text panel yeah talked about de Kooning as a muscular painter yeah I just stood here and made this does push paint around wonderfully but it does have a kind of aggressive kind of this is the this is the the origin of the term action painting really right yeah yeah absolutely and in fact rosenberg was one of his great defenders the critic Harold Rosenberg um so there had been a whole bunch of readings and this painting is so layered first of all basically it's physically layered de Kooning was at a moment in his career when he was not really thinking that he would be selling these figurative paintings and what he was doing was he was painting on them until they would begin to fall apart that is he just worked them and worked and worked them to death and then he would wipe them down and start over again on the same canvas just as a place to work out ideas according to some of his friends at this time this canvas had some 60 70 maybe even 80 paintings on it before apparently he was convinced of course this is the telling of one of his friends that that he should stop and let the painting be and and change canvases but this is painting that's also layered not terms of the pain but it's also layered in terms of the way in which people look at it you know some people read it is really misogynist and then some people say no no this is a more critical look at the post-world War - kin up the culture of the sort of the beginning of our culture of pornographer a pub of sort of the acceptance of pornography in the way that when we're represented it sounds a little apologist to me but it's easy it's a little too easy to say when an artist makes a female figure who looks when a male is makes a female figure who looks to our eyes as ugly it's a little easy to fall into that interpretation of Assad and it's probably a good idea not to do that cuz for example that charge is level two to God and I don't think he was misogynist in the way that those images are interpreted at all yeah perhaps more racist perhaps more classes taking away from certain ideas of the news oh absolutely so is that what's happening here then this is de Kooning really trying to in a sense reinvent the way that we can begin to because Venus of Willendorf II she is but at the same time curiously even as a sort of sculptural in that sense it's also a kind of calligraphic figure right I mean you can read it's really rendered with this incredibly sort of wonderful
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