E. L. Kirchner & W. De Kooning THE AGGRESSIVE LINE
Opening reception Friday January 18
From January 18 to March 9, 2013
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I am delighted to start the year with E. L. Kirchner & W. De Kooning THE AGGRESSIVE LINE.
The subject of women caught in an intimate posture has been a recurring theme in the History of Modern Art. Where Titian captured our imagination with “Portrait d’une femme à sa toilette” as did Velasquez with his “Vénus à son miroir”, Renoir with his many “Toilette” and even more so Degas with his myriad variations of women bathing in a shallow tub, allowed us to steal an almost voyeuristic glance at the intimacy of women bathing. Then came E.L. Kirchner: his treatment of the same subject translates the complete casualness of the moment, the women are bathing, getting dressed, doing their hair –and we are there with them, therein lies his genius: with a couple of strokes he invites us in –in all simplicity!
This non-inconsequential goal having been achieved, Kirchner proceeds to play with line and shape –giving free rein to his mastery. Soon, the stroke takes-over: chalk, pencil, wash, charcoal, on paper, card… whatever is at hand. The line becomes the intent –aggressive in its will to survive, beyond Kirchner’s death by suicide in 1938.
By coincidence, De Kooning met Elaine in the same year –the drawings in this exhibition are among the ones Elaine De Kooning had kept for herself–the 1946-1948 “Study for Seated Woman” would have challenged Kirchner –I know it! I -feel it!
Ernst-Ludwig, meet Willem; Willem meet Ernst-Ludwig –and please allow us to eavesdrop into your intimate conversation…
Berlin, January 18, 2013
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