de Kooning, not Willem

Our Monday afternoon, after gelato visit to the National Portrait Gallery was an afterthought, just something we squeezed in before heading to the airport. That's how we found the Elaine de Kooning exhibit. "She painted the JFK presidential portrait, Mom."

And she did, indeed, along with a great many studies and other portraits of Kennedy in vibrant greens and golds.

de Kooning's brushy portraits have the open, incomplete feel of drawings, with most of the emphasis on the pose and the clothes. Nearly all the subjects are male.

Decades ago I tired of her husband's insulting, almost violent paintings of women. Elaine's paintings feel fresh, not pounded like his.

My favorites in the show were two paintings of someone named Donald Barthelme. I'm sad that I did not paint them myself. The Washington Post reviewer is pretty rough on the exhibit, but that's her job. The NPR piece about the show is more inviting.

And the gelato at Pitango was superb, as always. My mojito sorbet and gianduja (chocolate hazelnut) were a surprising, rejuvenating combo. I would gladly exchange my services as a website proofreader for an unlimited lifetime gift card!

White grapefruit and chocolate noir

© 2013-2015 Nancy L. Ruder


seana graham said...

Our Washington DC visits overlapped, Nancy. We were in the portrait gallery on Sunday, and also fitting a quick visit to the Treasury on Monday before my sisters flew out. We got a special tour because a good friend of our family is a good friend of Rosa Gumataotao Rios,the current U.S. Treasurer. Pretty fun. No ice cream, though.

Collagemama said...

I love insider DC tours and events! Mark Pitango on your map for next time. My spidey senses tingle whenever I get within a few blocks!

seana graham said...

I will. It seems that once I finally get somewhere once, I often somehow end up going there again.

I love tours and docents as well, even the slightly high strung ones. We had a very good guide to for the Library of Congress as well.

Collagemama said...

Today's NYTimes has a $100 Weekend in DC story featuring the National Postal Museum. I have to put that on my list for next time!


seana graham said...

Thanks, I'll take a look.