When Willem de Kooning painted “Sail Cloth” in 1949, the artist had just enjoyed his first solo exhibition, held at Manhattan’s Charles Egan Gallery. Described by the critic Clement Greenberg as “magnificent,” the show featured works—like “Black Untitled”—painted in just black and white. On the heels of this successful début, “Sail Cloth” was made as part of a group of paintings that reintroduced color—though they maintained an evasive relationship with representation and subject matter. Nevertheless, with its energetic circuit of black brushstrokes and radiant palette, “Sail Cloth” is a highly evocative painting—even more so when considering the fact that it was painted while de Kooning holidayed in sunny, seaside Cape Cod. The perfect image as we sail into this hot August weekend!
Willem de Kooning, “Sail Cloth,” 1949, Oil, enamel, charcoal, and graphite on board. © 2018 The Willem de Kooning Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Willem de Kooning, “Black Untitled,” 1948, Oil and enamel on paper, mounted on wood. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. © 2018 The Willem de Kooning Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
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