"BODY, remember not just how much you were loved,
not just the beds where you have lain,
but also those longings that so openly
glistened for you in the eyes,
and trembled in the voice—and some
chance obstacle arose and thwarted them.
Now that it’s all finally in the past
it almost seems as if you gave yourself to
those longings, too - remember how
they glistened, in the eyes that looked at you;
how they trembled in the voice, for you; remember, body.” -
- C.P. CAVAFY, 'Remember, Body' -
As announced today by Bloomberg, Willem de Kooning's magnificent 'Untitled XII', 1975, will be the highlight of @levygorvy
's booth at Art Basel Hong Kong. The work belongs to the famed collection of Microsoft's co-founder Paul G. Allen, and is from a series of extraordinary large scale abstract paintings from de Kooning's ground-breaking year of 1975 - the majority of which are in museums including the Guggenheim, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Stedelijk Museum.
Then in his seventies, de Kooning astonished the art world by the sheer bravado and expressive power of these paintings, which are considered some of the greatest of his career. Merging glimpses of the fleshy female figure into the dynamism of the landscape surrounding his Long Island studio, 'Untitled XII' demonstrates de Kooning's desire to mirror the continuous flux of the natural world through an entirely abstract language of spontaneity and extravagant gesture. According to art historian David Sylvester, "It came as the climax of a period in which the paintings - most of them landscapes of the body - with their massively congested, deeply luminous color, their contrasts between flowing and broken forms, attain a total painterliness in which marks and image coalesce completely and every inch of the canvas quivers with teeming energy. They belong with paintings made at the same age by artists such as Monet and Renoir and Bonnard, and of course, Titian. The incandescence in these products of ripe wisdom and second childhood, of his marvelous marriage of experience and innocence, is not only an incandescence of matter, but of erotic feeling." -