Willem de Kooning, "Ten Paintings, 1983-1985"

Critics' pick
Photo by Tim Nighswander/IMAGING4ART. Courtesy The Willem de Kooning Foundation.
Free
The pieces in this show date from a period in De Kooning's career when he radically overhauled his approach to painting, consolidating his familiarly furious brushwork into a style that resembled nothing so much as a reductive, schematic code for his previous practice. It was around this same time that the artist began his slide into Alzheimer's, and there has been some debate as to how much the disease affected his art. For this reason, these canvases have often been dismissed or unfavorably compared with his earlier work. Yet there remains something undeniably compelling about these compositions, which are arguably analogous to the cutout nudes that Matisse undertook toward the end of his life. This show is organized by MoMA curator emeritus John Elderfield, who also put together the Modern's spectacular De Kooning survey in 2011.
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