Audrey Flack on de Kooning's Women

Willem de Kooning, Woman and Bicycle, 1952-53, oil, enamel, and charcoal on line
Willem de Kooning, Woman and Bicycle, 1952-53, oil, enamel, and charcoal on linen, 76 1/2 × 49 1/8 inches (Whitney Museum of American Art)

Painter Audrey Flack reflects on de Kooning's Women paintings.

Flack concludes: "What de Kooning was able to do as a great artist was bring to life those profound disparate emotions by painting women with disjointed body parts using moist, thick oil paint and making rapid marks that are intriguing and compelling. Over the years I have come back to these 'Women' paintings and studied them. And most recently I stood before Woman and Bicycle at the Whitney Museum and marveled at the beauty and exciting complexity of the paint that de Kooning moved around the surface of the canvas. It kept me riveted. These paintings have continued to vibrate through the years with the hatred and love that de Kooning felt for all women, and that pulsation has given them a powerful afterlife. I am still fascinated.