Art: Softer De Koonings

De Koonings

New settings, new subjects

Fifteen years have passed since Willem de Kooning, one of the last patriarchs of abstract expressionism, moved out of Manhattan to live and work near East Hampton, among the flat green potato fields and salty inlets of Long Island. This span of time was for him, in the jargon of art history, a "period." His manner of painting changed, becoming looser, splashier, more atmospheric than it had ever been before. The drawing loosened too, and the place supplied him with a different subject matter—a landscape of dunes and...

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