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Willem de Kooning

WilliamDeKooning.jpg

Willem de Kooning | The Netherlands/United States | 1904-97 | Two trees on Mary Street . . . Amen! 1975 | Oil on canvas | 203.8 x 177.8cm | Purchased 1985 with the assistance of the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | © Willem de Kooning, 1975/ARS. Licensed by VISCOPY, Sydney 2004.

Willem de Kooning, 'Two trees on Mary Street . . . Amen!', 1975

Willem de Kooning
The Netherlands/United States
1904-97
Two trees on Mary Street . . . Amen!  1975
Oil on canvas
203.8 x 177.8cm
Purchased 1985 with the assistance of the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation
Collection: Queensland Art Gallery
© Willem de Kooning, 1975/ARS. Licensed by VISCOPY, Sydney 2004.

Willem de Kooning

Two trees on Mary Street . . . Amen! 1975

Willem de Kooning is recognised alongside artists such as Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline as a pioneer of Abstract Expressionism.

Characterised by its expressive, spontaneous gestures, Abstract Expressionism was the defining American art movement of the postwar period. The movement was also referred to as 'action painting', a term which points to the physical activity of the artist when painting. It is also an apt description of the bold, energetic brushstrokes evident in de Kooning's work.

Unlike many other artists associated with the movement, de Kooning did not confine himself to the production of non-representational art. Two trees on Mary Street . . . Amen! 1975 is a late work painted when the artist was in his seventies.

Despite the painting's abstract appearance, its title evocatively suggests an urban landscape and a literal horizon may be discerned in the top right. The surface of the work is a thickly applied skin of paint and reveals a variety of textures. De Kooning has used a brush in many areas, while in others he has allowed the paint to splash and drip, or he has manipulated it with the flexible blade of a palette knife.