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De Kooning: Walk on the Wild Side

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Laurie Fendrich reviews the exhibition de Kooning: A Retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, on view through January 9, 2012.

Fendrich writes: "Many influences lurk in the work – Picasso, Matisse, Gorky, School of Paris contour-driven painting, surrealism, American toothpaste ads (those toothy mouths in his Women paintings). Yet de Kooning was no synthesizer. He brazenly pushed forward, giving paint enough leash to become its own actor out discovering its own boundaries. His hunt was for nothing less than to make a painting express the ineffable, terrible awe of existence itself."

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