I went to the MoMA after work on Friday because it was free, just a few blocks north of work, and on the same street as my apartment. I walked through the sculpture garden outdoors, then up to the de Kooning exhibit. It was crowded.
His initial works reminded me of Miro, but then it became his more familiar works quickly.
Then there were a bunch of these kind of paintings that made me kind of anxious to be around. It felt like confusion and pain on canvass. I wondered if I should take a pill to calm myself down. It was hard to tell if it was the crowd or the paintings that were causing this. I vote the paintings since I've survived the McQueen exhibit crowds, which were much worse.
Then at some point I came across this painting: Weekend at Mr. and Mrs. Krishner, and I didn't feel as lost or anxious anymore. It looked like watercolor or Chinese calligraphy. It was simple because it was just black and white, but it evoked much of the same feelings complex feelings as his colorful pieces, because in the giant brushstroke you could see how much of the ink was applied from the brush--base to tip--more transparently than with his normal paint I think. It's like an X-ray. That gradient of one color and all that happens in between. There's air in the dried paint that adds texture and life to this piece.
The room with his final works (it's retrospective of his career so earliest works to latest) were so incredibly calm. And it seemed like he used a lot more white paint in these works. Though Weekend at Mr. and Mrs. Krishner was my favorite piece, this room seemed ethereal, especially compared to the more hectic/panic-inducing pieces earlier.
And then on the floor directly below of the de Kooning retrospective you have Seurat and Van Gogh and Picasso and the rest of the gang. And when looking at these pieces, as a casual neighbor stopping by to say hi and not as an anxious tourist who must take a photo of a masterpiece, it made me feel really lucky to be living so close to it all right now.