… and now I want to talk about Willem de Kooning

Karel Appel

Willem de Kooning, they say, lost his memory.
He lost his worldly memory.
He lost the names of the people, he lost their faces.
He lost the appointments of the world.
This is one of the reasons he paints as a real painter.

Willem de Kooning left our planet already
He is far away, but his spirit is still in his body.
He paints the enlightenment of the light,
the universal enlightenment of the light.

And his painting is like the wind
like a breeze blowing the paint across the canvas
so unreal, so loose and far away from the worldly life.

He is like an angel
who floats for a little while on this planet
and touches with his wings the canvas.

That is what he used to do, what he is doing now for the last hears.
He is the only painter who paints like that.
In a way he is Lucky
that he lost his memory.
He can be completely meditative in his work.

And that is why he paints masterpieces now
with lines and movements
like the wind, like the ocean, like the light, like the sunlight, like the moonlight,
far away from everything, without any image
only the universal enlightenment of the light.

It’s the reason why he is one of the great artists of our time.
He reaches deep into the secret of our inner life.

It’s a victory of the total end of civilization and a renewal of that.
It’s the in-between: it has nothing to do anymore with the image of civilization.
It’s a sound in the sky it’s a victory of the human being
who can go that far in creativity of mankind.

Karel Appel, februari 1990

zie ook: Kunst Kolom over Willem de Kooning