In January, I had the honor of being included in MoMA's exhibition 'In The Studio' to celebrate their online learning community. A call went out from MoMA to students of the course to submit a work for inclusion, I chose my 'Homage to deKooning'. It was accepted.
I chose this work because it was the week I struggled most during the course. I didn't resonate with deKooning's work and found what I learned about his personality further distanced me from his paintings. His mixed feelings about woman were evident in his gnarly faced, angry portrayals.
Toward the end of the week while discovering his later, more simplified work I found a connection with his fluid ribbons. From memory, I believe it was as he developed suspected Alzheimers that his work became softer, something I could feel without jarring. His Woman series just made me feel angry. I suspect I am not alone.
Of course our emotional response to an artist is a direct reflection of ourselves and I was willing to investigate further but was surprised at how difficult it was for me to execute a painting in the style of the 'Woman' series.
I spent all week scraping and repainting and turpentine rubbing off area's not to my liking only to repaint and try again. On the very last day I literally scrapped off most of the figure and began working more abstractly, letting my wrist guide the way with fluid strokes that came together in the final result which is more indicative of deKooning's final works.
This painting really taught me a lot about myself and that's the reason I chose to submit this one.
I didn't get to go to NY for the opening of 'In the Studio' but many of my fellow Alumni did. It was a wonderful opportunity for them to meet in person and celebrate the teachers, faculty and the journey we took together as artists with MoMA.
I was honored to have my painting included alongside fabulous artworks made by students, exploring the style of the artists we studied from Postwar Abstract NY Painters.
Here is a youtube slideshow of some of some of the work shown. My own painting is at 2.06 in the clip.
Thank you MoMA!