William De Kooning is one of the most prolific painters whose paintings represent a different artistic style. Art lovers all over the world greatly appreciate Kooning’s most famous and expensive painting, “Interchange”. But what makes William De Kooning’s Interchange excel in its own shell? And this article titled “Interchange by William De Kooning Critical Analysis” will explore the most important factors and history behind the painting along with explaining the styles and concepts.
De Kooning’s Interchange is one of the most expensive paintings in the world. And we will analyze this masterpiece of the Dutch-American painter. We will try to find out all the important information needed to understand the painting.
Among the most talked about and admired paintings, a number of Kooning’s works of art have made their position. Those paintings are also on the list of the most expensive paintings, and Interchange is the most expensive of all. In this article we will also talk about the master artist of the mid-twentieth century, a man of a thousand contradictions.
De Kooning the man of mystery and contradictions
During his artistic career, his personal life created many contradictions. Not only his characteristics, but also his varied body of works created contradictions.
Kooning was born in 1904 and experienced atrocious events in his teens. He has witnessed two world wars and countless heartbreaking political events.
He lived the whole 20this century and died in 1997. Because the whole century was full of events, Kooning’s life was like a thriller. De Kooning is a Dutch-American painter, but he spent most of his time as a Dutch citizen until he obtained American citizenship.
Several sources have confirmed that Kooning was a very charming and sensitive man with a rude appearance. However, his brilliant and artistic sense made him one of the most celebrated intellectuals of the entire century. Furthermore, Kooning was a very open and honest person loved by his followers.
Despite the love of his followers, Kooning has also gained a lot of shy comments from his heaters. His enemies have given him the title of cheater, scoundrel and drunkard. Kooning’s personal life was a complete thriller and we see the similarity in his works. If we look at his working styles, diversity is not lacking. Unlike him, most other painters relied on their own styles.
Kooning’s different style of work significantly indicates that many other artists directly influenced him. In his 70 years of artistic profession, he himself has mentioned his changed style several times.
We all know that the life and work of an artist always move in parallel. In the case of Kooning, we can apply the same idea. Each piece of art he created represents his bumpy life and the events of the century.
Interchange by William De Kooning at a glance
Interchange is an oil on canvas depicting the life works of the abstract expressionist painter William De Kooning. Kooning completed this flawless artwork in 1955 and measures 200.7 by 175.3 centimeters.
Kooning used quick gesture signs in Interchange. The image shows a woman sitting in a chair, but the women only appear as a mass of pickaxes.
As we said before, the painter himself noticed significant changes in his style when he made Interchange and this wasn’t the first time. He has experienced the change several times in his artistic life. Franz’s favorite artist Kline Kooning had a significant influence on Interchange.
Shortly after its completion in 1955, De Kooning sold it for $ 4,000 to an architect named Edgar Kaufmann Jr. The buyer’s father, Edgar J. Kaufmann used to run a department store in Pittsburgh. Kauffman’s sold the painting among other art collections at Sotheby’s in New York in November 1989. The painting then came into the possession of Shigeki Kameyama. Kameyama was a Japanese art dealer and also owns the Mountain Tortoise Gallery in Tokyo. Interchange set a record price of $ 20.7 million for the living artist back then. But unfortunately, the Kameyama buyer refused to buy Interchange. Eventually, he had to sell more paintings to pay the staggering price. In 1990, Kameyama sold the work to David Geffen at a lower price.
So far Interchange is the second most expensive painting in the world ever auctioned. The last auction took place in September 2015. During the last auction, the painting sold for $ 300 million to Kenneth C Griffin. It is currently on display at the Art Institute of Chicago. Prior to November 2017, this artwork was the most expensive painting based on the auction value. Currently, Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi is the most expensive painting in the world.
Interchange by William De Kooning Critical analysis
Interchange is very important to De Kooning’s career because it was his first successful expressionist art. Before 1955, Kooning’s paintings were based on human figures and “Interchange” is the complete change in his style. The transition from traditional pictorial ideas to expressionist art was a great leap for the painter.
Shortly before the success of Interchange, Kooning created Woman, Woman I and Woman III as part of his expressionist art series. With abstract visualization, De Kooning made a splash in the surrounding communities in downtown New York. Police Gazette, Composition, Gotham News, In the Night of Saturday and Easter Monday featured some of his paintings.
But in 1956, Interchange ignited the fire in the art world. Along with Interchange, other expressionists and abstract paintings were also talked about at that time. Interchange in particular attracted a lot of critical and media attention, which gave De Kooning better artistic success.
Context of the exchange
The title “William De Kooning’s Interchange Critical Analysis” cannot be achieved without discussing the background.
Central New York is the setting for Interchange and even the name reflects the setting as well. It is a postwar art that introduces Kooning as an expressionist. Although he never proclaimed himself an expressionist, critics widely recognized him as an expressionist painter. Before Interchange, he also exhibited some of his famous expressionist, abstract art, but Interchange made him famous.
The second expensive painting is the continuation of his work from the Women series which was exhibited in his solo exhibition in 1953. The Interchange itself has tremendous influence from the Women series which has confused and distressed criticism and continues to do so these days. There is a wide range of confusion about the motif of this painting. However, the Women series and Interchange are both connected to Kooning’s business. Furthermore, abstract figuration and cubism also represent the distorted and time-ravaged human state.
When it came to naming his paintings, he always preferred a connection with the area where he lived. The Interchange got its name from the surrounding, central New York, the place where he lived during that time.
He also said in his interview: “I feel more at home in the heart of New York than I would feel. He lives on Park Avenue. He has no social commentary. It’s just that the streets are so damn quiet. I mean, you might not find anything. . Maybe it has something to do with my upbringing, I don’t know, but I in the eyes of the average person.
Art style and element in the interchange
Unlike his colleagues, Kooning’s paintings employed several forms including Cubism, Surrealism, and Expressionism. Indeed, post-war art forms, Neo-Dadaism, also attracted him and linked him to pop art. He took all these artistic movements into consideration and created a fusion of figuration, abstraction and landscape.
De Kooning was one of the first painters to adopt an abstract expressionist form for paintings. Jackson Pollok was one of the prominent painters to fall into this category.
In short, to describe Kooning’s artistic style, unlike other contemporary artists, in his art he never abandoned human figures, on the contrary he created a fusion of styles. Interchange is a perfect example of abstract expressionist art that resists fusion.
The brushstroke is just a quick gestural movement in this work. Franz Klein may have influenced his delicate gestural brushstroke for Interchange. To paint this phenomenal work of art, he did not adopt the violent brushstroke like his other contemporary colleagues.
Being a fusion of different styles, this painting perfectly places figuration, abstraction and landscape. It has a female figure that looks like a pink mass representing a woman sitting on a chair. We cannot say that this is a painting that fully represents Pablo Picasso-like cubism or surrealism, rather it is a perfect fusion of these.
For De Kooning, Elaine Fried was a model for the “Seated Women” element. Kooning also has some paintings in which he introduced us to the seated women. In most of his paintings, women do not have well-connected body parts. They are more like shapes that float around the body. The body parts seem interchangeable, and De Kooning wrote this in the early 1950s. Likewise, here at Interchange, things are painted but in a more abstract way. Here at Interchange, everything has more perspective and viewers have the freedom to choose their point of view.
Overall, the Interchange, the second most expensive painting, is abstract expressionist art that represents William De Kooning’s artistic styles. William De Kooning’s Interchange readers have full freedom to analyze from various perspectives.
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