cover image The Spirit of Abstract Expressionism: Selected Writings

The Spirit of Abstract Expressionism: Selected Writings

Elaine De Kooning. George Braziller, $23.5 (238pp) ISBN 978-0-8076-1337-5

Artist, critic and wife of painter Willem de Kooning, Elaine de Kooning (1918-1989) was both the interpreter and the voice of the Abstract Expressionist movement. Published primarily in Art News between 1949 and 1967, these 28 articles display her acumen and impassioned commitment. Included are a wonderfully personal biographical-critical profile of Arshile Gorky, an analysis of the alchemy of Franz Kline's paintings and perceptive appraisals of artists as diverse as Andrew Wyeth, Stuart Davis, Jackson Pollock and Esteban Vicente. An eloquent 1955 essay on how an artist chooses, or is chosen by, his or her subject seems just as relevant today as when it was written. Slivka, who teaches art criticism at New York University, examines de Kooning's underrated career as a painter, and Luyckx, the artist's sister, provides an affectionate profile. Photos. (Mar.)