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Harold Rosenberg #3

Artist
Elaine de Kooning, 12 Mar 1918 - 1 Feb 1989
Sitter
Harold Rosenberg, 2 Feb 1906 - 13 Jul 1978
Date
1956
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Object: 203.2 x 149.9 x 2.5cm (80 x 59 x 1")
Frame: 205.7 x 152.4 x 3.8cm (81 x 60 x 1 1/2")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
courtesy Elaine de Kooning Trust
Object number
NPG.94.14
Exhibition Label
Harold Rosenberg (1906–1978) was a poet and art critic; his most famous essay, "The American Action Painters" (1952), championed abstract painting, including that of Willem de Kooning. He affirmed the painter’s canvas "as an arena in which to act—rather than as a space in which to reproduce, re-design, analyze or ‘express’ an object, actual or imagined. What was to go on the canvas was not a picture but an event."
The de Koonings had known Rosenberg and his wife, May Tabak, since the 1940s, and Elaine painted and drew him many times. This painting is the largest and most complex, depicting the critic stretched out in her studio, filling the canvas, and holding a beverage can in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Elaine combined fluid drawing with dark paint and broadly brushed areas of colorful pigment to create equilibrium between bodily likeness and pure abstraction.
Harold Rosenberg (1906–1978) fue un poeta y crítico de arte. Su ensayo más famoso, “Los pintores de acción norteamericanos” (1952), es una defensa de la pintura abstracta, incluida la de Willem de Kooning. Afirmaba que el lienzo de un pintor era un “lugar donde se actúa, no un espacio para reproducir, rediseñar, analizar o ‘expresar’ un objeto, sea real o imaginario. Lo que debe ir en el lienzo no es una imagen, sino un suceso”.
Los De Kooning conocían a Rosenberg y su esposa, May Tabak, desde los años cuarenta; de hecho, Elaine lo pintó y dibujó en numerosas ocasiones. Esta pintura es la más compleja y de mayor formato. El crítico aparece recostado en el estudio de ella, llenando el espacio del lienzo, con una lata de alguna bebida en una mano y un cigarrillo en la otra. Elaine combina áreas oscuras de dibujo fluido con áreas de pinceladas amplias en pigmentos coloridos para crear equilibrio entre el parecido físico y la abstracción pura.
Provenance
The artist; her estate; (Lindsay & Thomas, Inc. [Joan T. Washburn], New York); purchased 1994 NPG
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Place
United States\New York