Carol Vogel previews MoMA’s plans for a Fall retrospective of Willem de Kooning’s work:
“He’s a subject that’s been sitting here, waiting,” said John Elderfield, chief curator emeritus of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art. For the last five years Mr. Elderfield has immersed himself in de Kooning’s work, and he is nearing the final stretch of organizing a major retrospective that will be on view at MoMA Sept. 18 through Jan. 9, 2012. Including more than 200 works in several mediums — paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints — the show will occupy the museum’s entire sixth floor. Because so many loans are from private collections, and collectors don’t want to be without their prized art for long, the show will not travel to any other institution.
“Perhaps one reason there hasn’t been a show like this for so many years is that when you start to really study everything he did, it’s hard to get your hands around it,” Mr. Elderfield said. “As an artist he doesn’t conform to the popular notion of what a midcentury modern artist should be, meaning someone who finds a characteristic image and sticks to it. There are also some aspects of his work that some people find uncomfortable.”
Inside Art: Big Plans for de Kooning (New York Times)