Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I’ve only seen them in magazine and Web reproductions, but the cheerful lightness and spontaneous balance of Willem de Kooning’s late works relax my face. I look at them and tension dissipates. They feel like beautiful friendly gestures.

His famous stuff is among the most turmoil-stricken of the abstract expressionists. I’ve never completely warmed to them, though I love Pollock and Kline and Still. Pictured here is “Untitled XVII,” from 1984, when the artist was 80. (He lived to be 92 and stopped painting at 86.)

I look at these pictures and wonder, is there a musical equivalent? What would a music of cheerful lightness, spontaneous balance, and brightly colored friendly gesturalism sound like?

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