“What comes clear in interviews with more than two dozen former friends and colleagues from the various Factory spaces is that, from the start of a career that ended with his premature death at 58, the rabidly ambitious and deeply needy Warhol marshaled all that was paradoxical in his nature and put it to the service of the sustained piece of performance art that was his public self.”
Rosalind E. Krauss talks about the life and work of the American abstract expressionist painter
How did you first encounter Willem de Kooning’s paintings? What is it about his work that appeals to you?
The Phillips Collection in Washington D. C. has a particularly beautiful de Kooning: Asheville, 1948. I was always fascinated by it but frustrated that I couldn’t articulate its effect on me. It made me want to look for other de Koonings and to read the literature on his work—initially that in Art News, such as Tom Hess’s “De Kooning Paints a Picture.” I was disappointed by this literature which I found merely effusive rather than analytical.
What motivated you to write a book about his work?
I had written my senior thesis on de Kooning at Wellesley College; then, when I saw the 2011 MoMA retrospective, curated by John Elderfield, I felt I had things to say about the paintings that no one had expressed before. (more…)
While it is no secret that the chameoleon popstar was a great admirer of contemporary art, and indeed an artist in his own right, the upcoming exhibition and auction of his collection reveals a number of insights and surprises:
“The nature of the works that Bowie purchased make for a fascinating insight into his aesthetic inspirations — his collection is heavy on 20th century British art, including works by Damien Hirst, Frank Auerbach, Harold Gilman, Sir Stanley Spencer, Peter Lanyon, Patrick Caulfield, Henry Moore, and Graham Sutherland. There’s also an eclectic variety of other work, from a piece by Jean-Michel Basquiat through designer furniture to the very fancy 1950s record player pictured above, which was created by Italian designers Pier Giacomo and Achille Castiglioni.”
20th century art has always been a formative source of inspiration for David Bowie’s music and visual identity. The cover for his Berlin album “Heroes” makes reference to the angular postures of Die Brücke portraiture; he went so far as to portray American pop artist Andy Warhol in the 1996 film, Basquiat. Bowie’s creative appropriation of modern art cannot be understated: at times, it can be hard to see where one ends and the other begins. I’m reminded of those lines in ‘Andy Warhol’, from Bowie’s 1971 record Hunky Dory: ‘Andy Warhol looks a scream / Hang him on my wall / Andy Warhol, Silver Screen / Can’t tell them apart at all’.