Willem De Kooning and Italy

The "Willem De Kooning and Italy" exhibition
at Gallerie dell'Accademia
Willem De Kooning and Italy

The Gallerie dell’Accademia proudly presents an extraordinary exhibition that delves into the influence of Willem de Kooning’s transformative stays in Italy during the late 1950s and 1960s. “Willem de Kooning and Italy” is a captivating exploration of the artist’s Italian sojourns, uncovering the profound impact on his subsequent masterpieces created in America.

Opening on April 16, 2024, and running until September 15, 2024, this exceptional exhibition coincides with the 60th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, promising a captivating insight into de Kooning’s artistic evolution. Curated by Gary Garrels and Mario Codognato, the exhibition meticulously unravels the connections between de Kooning’s visits to Italy and the evolution of his paintings, sculptures, and drawings over four pivotal decades, from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Featuring approximately 75 remarkable works, the exhibition showcases de Kooning’s diverse artistic phases. The chronological journey begins with the artist’s initial trip to Rome in 1959, displayed alongside monumental drawings from the late 1950s and pre-Italian period artworks, illustrating the significant transitions in his style. Visitors will encounter celebrated paintings like Door to the River and A Tree in Naples, exuding the influence of his Italian encounters.

An entire section is dedicated to de Kooning’s sculptures, presenting thirteen small bronzes that mark his experimental foray into clay-based sculpting. These sculptures, borne from his Rome experiences, highlight his novel approach to abstract figures and are complemented by contemporaneous figurative paintings and later monumental abstract canvases.

The exhibition elegantly weaves together de Kooning’s drawings from Spoleto and his shift towards fragmented figures, emphasizing the artist’s evolving concepts and techniques. Culminating in his groundbreaking works from the 1980s, characterized by ethereal tones and abstract motifs, this retrospective encapsulates the essence of de Kooning’s multifaceted artistic journey.

Director Giulio Manieri Elia expressed his enthusiasm for this remarkable showcase, underscoring the significance of de Kooning’s stature, the exploration of his Italian ties, and the rare opportunity to unveil around 75 pivotal works encompassing the spectrum of de Kooning’s creative genius.

This prestigious exhibition, presented in collaboration with the Willem de Kooning Foundation, offers an unparalleled opportunity to delve into the life, influences, and artistic evolution of one of the 20th century’s most celebrated artists.

Website: www.gallerieaccademia.it

Location: Accademia Galleries, Venice

Schedule: from April 16 – Sept. 15, 2024

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