Legacy: The Emily Fisher Landau Collection
Audio Guide Playlist

This audio guide, introduced by Alice Pratt Brown Director Adam D. Weinberg, highlights a diverse range of works from the exhibition Legacy: The Emily Fisher Landau Collection. Artists John Baldessari, Gregory Crewdson, Eric Fischl, Jasper Johns, Glenn Ligon, and Mark Tansey provide additional commentary.


NARRATOR: One way to enter into this painting by Willem de Kooning is to follow his brush. Looping ribbons of red and blue paint cross the canvas, merging into voluptuous curves, creating a loose tangle of abstract shapes. Sunshine yellow saturates the center, and then opens up to airy expanses of white, pale yellow, and pink at the edges. Some of the shapes may recall the curving female body or a rolling landscape, two touchstones for de Kooning. But like much of his late work, the painting is entirely abstract.

Willem de Kooning was a leader of the Abstract Expressionist movement that emerged in New York in the 1940s. Early on, he enthusiastically explored the possibilities of oil paint. He became known for energetic, heavy, even violent brushwork. By the mid-1980s, though, that earlier roughness and density opened up into a calm lyricism. De Kooning was in his seventies when he made this painting. He had developed a profound understanding of his medium, which comes through in the confidence of his approach and the mastery of his brushwork.


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