Hello! (づ ◕‿◕ )づ. 10% discount on everything with code EARLYSUMMER at checkout x
0

President John F. Kennedy. An Exhibition of Portraits and Sketches by Elaine de Kooning.

£95.00

de KOONING, Elaine. 
President John F. Kennedy. An Exhibition of Portraits and Sketches by Elaine de Kooning.

Quarto. [28pp] stapled brochure in stiff card wrappers. B&w illustrations with one plate in colour. Kansas City: Kansas City Art Institute and School of Design College Bulletin, 1965. 
Wrappers a little yellowed and rubbed. 

Scarce brochure published on the occasion of the exhibition 'President John F. Kennedy' at Kansas City Art Institute and School of Design in 1965. The exhibition displayed a series of portraits and sketches by Elaine de Kooning and this brochure illuminates a highly intriguing moment in her practice. De Kooning had been commissioned to paint a portrait of JFK in 1962, a project that made her redefine her entire approach to working from life.

De Kooning spent several sessions with Kennedy in Palm Beach, beginning on December 28, 1962. At the time she said she required complete immobility from her sitter, but the President was constantly at work and surrounded by activity. De Kooning adapted her practice by making quick sketches that would be assembled later as a portrait in the studio. The reality was that the commission created a huge body of work. In an interview published in 1964 for Life Magazine she stated: “The commission turned into a project which so far has produced hundreds of sketches and 23 finished paintings.” Indeed, the list of works included in this catalogue details 40 pieces that were exhibited of various media including oil on canvas, charcoal on paper and one bronze sculpture.

With Kennedy's death in 1963 de Kooning would comment that she was ultimately dissatisfied with her effort in creating a likeness. In an interview with Ben Wolf, of which rare excerpts are reproduced in this catalogue, she comments that Kennedy's death compelled her to stop work on the portraits. 'Painting had become completely identified with painting Kennedy. For one entire year, I had painted nothing else.. it was real trauma.'


You may also like