Although painting and drawing his entire career, Willem de Kooning only made his first sculpture in 1969. From 1973 to 1974 he was primarily engaged in sculpture, setting aside painting until resuming it in 1975. De Kooning’s first sculptures were small, ranging from about seven to thirty-three centimetres. His later works such as this one are larger in scale. Process is equally important in de Kooning sculptures, as it is in his paintings. The artist worked as intentionally and expressively with his three-dimensional material as he did with his paint and pigment. Moreover, the sculpture can be understood as growing from his two-dimensional work. The surfaces evidence the artist manipulating, adding and subtracting clay before eventually settling on a middle ground precariously balancing realism and abstraction. Even though Large Torso surely possesses a distinct mass it is nonetheless in form and mood reminiscent of Alberto Giacometti’s late sculpture. Both types of sculpture are clearly laboured over and suggest a feeling of loneliness or even anguish.
schenking kunstenaar / gift of the artist