from "Abstract Blogism: The Coming BioMorphism and How It Titillates Art History"
What keeps process within bounds, keeps de Kooning's women from being mere painterly gush, is the memory of and the struggle with his implanted i-Muse: before his historic trip to Anaheim where the Disney "imagineers" challenged his rough aesthetic of always allowing the picture plane to assert itself in the most unexpected places while promoting a signature style of painterly dares, De Kooning was forever lost in the struggle to simultaneously create and destroy the order of the Cubist grid.
Things changed after Anaheim. Violent attacks against his painterly "other" were soon replaced by a creamy suppleness, and eventually led to the final comings of his nuanced gestures. Although the imagery retains its startling jolt, it is the delicacy and, yes, elegance of his fractured apparatus that, after the passage of time, is most striking.
Unfortunately, the circuitry in his implanted i-Muse eventually fried and he was left "missing in action". This led to his abstract watercolors which, coming later in life, were eventually reconfigured into the vehicles most popular in Amsterdam - the one speed bicycle. Why he abandons the watercolor per se and uses magazine cut-outs as collage staples is mostly beyond this critic. Was it a nostalgic gesture toward the Cubist tradition he at one time expertly deconstructed? The fact that he eventually used these small collages as postcards to send to colleagues around the world, may point toward a new and growing passion for mail-art which has still yet to be fully documented.
But is the malfunctioning i-Muse the sole reason for the disappearance of his "Woman"? A "Woman" series is in itself a statement in that it refers to a series of intelligent muses that set his brush on fire. We will let you decide the possible "positive" or "negative" gender representations here. For us, there is too much ambivalence to even try and begin a post-feminist reading. And what, precisely, constitutes "positive" or "negative" when a cultural concept like "woman" (in general) is at stake? Especially one "missing in action". Was de Kooning himself engaged in a kind of cross-dressing performance of aesthetic self-mutilation? Was it nothing more than a sly wink at his arch-rival Rrose Selavy?
Perhaps it was all a joke. We all know what it's like to draw faces, and the more wickedly perverse they get, the more we learn about ourselves. And besides, don't the artists always get the last laugh? kid 8:55 AMUPDWN
La Boite en valise - Ser:e bookmarks -