Thursday, March 15, 2007

Mae West: Abstract Expression

Many artists and illustrators drew MAE WEST. Perhaps the least admired painting of Mae was done by de Kooning, who died a decade ago in March 1997.
• • Born in Rotterdam (the Netherlands), Willem de Kooning [24 April 1904 – 19 March 1997] became known as an abstract expressionist. In 1964 he executed quite a peculiar item that was his version of MAE WEST. The 24" by 18" work was created with oil and charcoal on resin-coated paper.
• • Who would purchase such an oddity? In 1966, art collector Joseph H. Hirshhorn [1899-1981] bought it from de Kooning. Eventually, Hirshhorn donated "Mae West" - - along with other pieces - - to the Smithsonian Institution, where it now resides in the Hirshhorn building. That means you can come and see Mae in D.C.
• • After a life of alcoholism and various mental problems, in the 1980s de Kooning was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, and a court declared him unfit to manage his estate, which was turned over to conservators. He died on 19 March 1997 a month before his 93rd birthday.
• • Come up and see Mae every day online:

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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • Willem de Kooning • • 1964 • •

Mae West.

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