Seeking Transcendence
Annotated Bibliography due on Monday, October 12 before class begins!











Gestural Abstraction = painting intuitively to allow the subconscious to control the media, gestural abstraction prioritizes deep personal expression over the final product. The idea that an artist paints to express themselves can be traced to artists after WWII who painted with a ferocity and vigor that made their physical beings present in the gestures and marks laid on the canvas. The final painting was understood as a relic of an action and an earnest manifestation of selfhood.

"After the war, Michael (Corinne) West responded to the fear and frustration of the atomic age with angry lashings of pigment; she often covered earlier paintings with new tangles of seething brushwork. They became thick, turbid all-over abstractions, painted directly from the tube or with a palette knife, embedded with sand and detritus, and imbued with existential titles like 'Nihilism' and 'Atonement.'” - 11 Female Ab Exers You Should Know

Michael (Corinne) West, Near the Fourth, 1958.

Cy Twombly, Academy, 1955.
Joan Mitchell, Rock Bottom, 1960 - 1961











Color Field = a style of abstract painting featuring large expanses of unmodulated color that covers most of the canvas

Figurative Abstraction

David Smith, Hudson River Landscape, 1951.

Barnett Newman, Adam, 1951 - 1952.

Elaine de Kooning, Fairfield Porter #1, 1954.











Pink Angels
Willem de Kooning, Still Life, c. 1921.
Willem de Kooning, Pink Angels, 1945.












Wilem de Kooning, Excavation, 1950.











Manhattan skyline, 1950











Elaine de Kooning, Untitled, 1950.
Elaine de Kooning, Bullfight, 1959.











Willem de Kooning, Seated Woman, 1940.
Willem de Kooning, Woman I, 1952.












Woman of Willendorf, Austria, ca. 28,000 - 25,000 BCE. Limestone, 4 3/8" high.











"Pleasure only starts once the worm has got into the fruit, to become delightful happiness must be tainted with poison."  - Georges Bataille

Woman and Bicycle

Vagina dentata = Latin for toothed vagina. Various cultures have folk tales about women with toothed vaginas, frequently told as cautionary tales warning of the dangers of sex with strange women.
Niki Minaj Turn Me On
Willem de Kooning, Woman and Bicycle, 1952 - 1953.











Willem and Elaine de Kooning

"To establish once and for al that I did not pose for these ferocious women. I was taken aback to discover in Hans' photograph that I and the painted lady seemed like…mother and daughter. We're even smiling the same way." - Elaine de Kooning

Hans Namuth, Willem and Elaine de Kooning 1953.