de Kooning vs. Pollock

“Every so often, a painter has to destroy painting. Cézanne did it, Picasso did it with Cubism. Then Pollock did it. He busted our idea of a picture all to hell. Then there could be new paintings again,” Willem de Kooning once said of his fellow AbEx painter, Jackson Pollock. Unfortunately, Pollock’s comments on his contemporary—rumored to have been spoken after many drinks at one of de Kooning’s exhibition after-parties—were lacking the same reverence. “Bill, you betrayed it,” Pollock said. “You’re doing the figure, you’re still doing the same goddamn thing. You know you never got out of being a figure painter.”

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