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A Generous VisionThe Creative Life of Elaine de Kooning$
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Cathy Curtis

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190498474

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190498474.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 05 August 2021

Black Mountain, Provincetown, and the Woman Paintings

Black Mountain, Provincetown, and the Woman Paintings

(p.39) 3 Black Mountain, Provincetown, and the Woman Paintings
A Generous Vision

Cathy Curtis

Oxford University Press

In 1948, Willem de Kooning taught at the Black Mountain College summer session in Asheville, North Carolina. Elaine thrived in this experimental ambience. She worked on Buckminster Fuller’s first geodesic dome, studied with Josef Albers, and played the ingénue in The Ruse of Medusa, choreographed by Merce Cunningham, with music by Erik Satie played by John Cage. While Bill labored over his breakthrough painting Asheville, Elaine produced rhythmic abstractions on wrapping paper. That fall, he painted Woman, the first of his grotesque female figures. It is impossible to fully parse the real-life and artistic influences that led to these paintings, but his deepening rift with Elaine was surely among them. The following summer, in Provincetown, Massachusetts, she studied with Hans Hofmann and socialized with friends. One of her self-portraits was included in a group exhibition at the Sidney Janis Gallery that fall; portraiture would change the course of her creative

Keywords:   Black Mountain College, Josef Albers, Buckminster Fuller, Merce Cunningham, John Cage, Provincetown, Willem de Kooning, Woman paintings, Hans Hofmann

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