Standing Figure (1969) Willem de Kooning

Otto Snoek
About the artwork

Standing Figure is one of the three statues of Willem de Kooning, who is rich in the city. It forms a unity with two other images of De Kooning: Seated Woman en Reclining Figure. The first is owned by the city, but Standing Figure en Reclining Figure are both on loan from De Willem de Kooning Foundation (since 2005). Both images were in Boston before that time. At the end of the 60, the painter began to experiment with modeling clay. De Kooning saw working with clay as spatial painting. Like his paintings, he created his sculptures in a spontaneous movement without sketches or preliminary studies. He overlaid the images with three pairs of gloves because he found his own hands too small. He thought sculpting was not an essentially different activity than painting; he saw clay as thick paint. The way of working can be seen from the casting. The limbs of rolls of clay, which are attached to the kneaded trunk, the bowl-shaped impressions of a thumb, even the enlarged fingerprints that stand out in the bronze skin, can all be related to the human hand. The lively dark patina, with which the bronze is finished, reinforces the reflections on the curves of the sculpture. For more information: Sculpture International Rotterdam

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About the artist

Originally from Rotterdam artist Willem de Kooning (Rotterdam, 1904 - Springs, New York, 1997) became one of the most famous representatives of the then new Abstract Expressionism in America in the 1950s. In those years he initially made large abstract paintings with expressive paint gestures. At the end of the sixties he started making sculptures. He made approximately 25 of these large bronze female figures, three of which are in Rotterdam. After his death, the Rotterdam art academy was renamed Willem de Kooning Academy in 1998.

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