Willem de Kooning: 1983-1985

Willem de Kooning, The Privileged (Untitled XX), 1985 (© 2013 The Willem de Koon
Willem de Kooning, The Privileged (Untitled XX), 1985, oil on canvas, 70 x 80 inches (© 2013 The Willem de Kooning Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York - Photo by Tim Nighswander/IMAGING4ART)

Paul Corio reviews an exhibition of late paintings by Willem de Kooning at Gagosian Gallery, New York, on view through December 21, 2013.

Corio asserts: "De Kooning’s late work seems to me to be a particularly fertile example for the contemporary abstract painter, not stylistically per se, but in terms of permissiveness. It is largely free of the more restrictive aspects of Greenbergian Modernism but evinces a keen understanding of them nonetheless – it chooses not to be that. It instead devours much that has come before and during its creation: Veronese, Rubens, Picasso, Stuart Davis, Matisse, Mondrian, Ab Ex, Pop, sign-painting, advertising, commercial illustration. And perhaps most importantly, it grapples head-on with the knotty issue of beauty, abstraction’s greatest bugbear since its inception, and is in no way diminished by its incorporation."