In yesterday's post I wrote of Willem de Kooning. I mentioned his influence on me but did not spell it out completely. More than anything it was de Kooning's desire to dissect painting, and the human form, which comforts me as I forge ahead. The comfort is de Kooning's confirmation of the validity of this process. The eminent critic Thomas B. Hess called de Kooning's methods "Procrustean," which means marked by arbitrary, often ruthless, disregard of individual differences or special circumstances. This is not me. It was Clement Greenberg, an extremely important art commentator of the Abstract Expressionists, who called de Kooning's work "savage dissections." Hess' and Greeburg's ideas are related, since Procrustes was a villainous son of Poseidon in Greek mythology who forced travelers to fit into his bed by stretching their bodies or cutting off their legs. Unlike de Kooning, I am not going to cut up the figure into parts. Like de Kooning, as I make an effort to internalize and express the clockwork-like structure of human existence, I will dissect the human figure through the act of drawing. I can feel myself moving toward more aggressive drawing; the beginnings of assertive dissection are upon me. My drawings from yesterday, particularly the second one, are a step in this direction. These drawings are a baby step when compared to Willem de Kooning's work. As comparison I show two works by de Kooning after my drawings.
The following is an "early" de Kooning, showing his budding desire to "dissect."
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