1. Write a personal reflection on the painting Willem de Kooning WOMAN I. This should be based on your own observations, thoughts, feelings. Please use this portion of the discussion to discuss the formal elements and subject matter.
2. Discuss the cultural changes happening during the period covered in the reading. Compare that culture to contemporary American culture. This should be a personal reflection of the comparison of cultures from your perspective/experience, not a summary of the text.
You may use the internet to research.
From the textbook:
In contrast, Willem de Kooning (1904–1997) insisted, “Art
never seems to make me peaceful or pure.” Immigrating from his
native Netherlands to the United States in 1926, he initially painted
nonrepresentationally, but he shocked the New York art world in
the early 1950s by returning to the figure with a series of paintings
of women. The first, WOMAN I (FIG. 20–6), took him almost
two years to finish. De Kooning’s wife, the artist Elaine de Kooning
(1918–1989), said that he painted it, scraped it, and repainted
it about 200 times. Part of de Kooning’s dissatisfaction stemmed
from the way his subject, a figure inspired by conventionally pretty
images of women seen in American advertising, kept veering away
from those models. What emerges in Woman I is not the elegant
companion of advertising fantasy but a powerful adversary, more
dangerous than alluring. The prettiness of the soft pastel colors and
the luxuriousness of the painted surface are nearly lost in the furious
slashing of his brush. The image is powerfully sexual, full of implied
violence, and intensely passionate, like a great fertility goddess. But
on another level it connects with the coloristic tradition of artists
such as Titian and Rubens, who superbly transformed female flesh
into luscious layers of paint.