de Kooning on Sculpture

For Willem de Kooning, the exploration of sculpture—at 65 years of age—was merely intended as an extension of his paintings; however, the new medium quickly forged a shape all its own, challenging previous mediums of the artist’s oeuvre for a chance in the spotlight.

“In some ways, clay is even better than oil,” de Kooning admitted in 1972. “You can work and work on a painting but you can’t start over again with the canvas like it was before you put that first stroke down. And sometimes, in the end, it’s no good, no matter what you do. But with clay, I cover it with a wet cloth and come back to it the next morning and if I don’t like what I did, or changed my mind, I can break it down and start over. It’s always fresh.”