Monday, December 26, 2011

de Kooning at MoMA + What to do for a Hangover! (A Special Food Issue) + Fairwell to 3 Artists

"de Kooning,
a Retrospective"
at MoMA, NYC
(Closing January 9, 2012)

Dutch American Abstract Expressionist Artist Willem de Kooning (1904-1997) 
He was a part of the group of artists who came to be known as the New York School

"In 1926 the Dutch artist Willem de Kooning entered the United States as a stowaway and eventually settled in Hoboken, New Jersey, where he supported himself as a house painter. In 1927 he moved to a studio in Manhattan and came under the influence of the artist, connoisseur, and art critic John Graham and the painter Arshile Gorky. Gorky became one of de Kooning’s closest friends. From about 1928 de Kooning began to paint still life and figure compositions reflecting the school of Paris and Mexican mural influences. By the early 1930's he was exploring abstraction."  (Encyclopedia Britanica)

"The female figure was a theme to which de Kooning returned repeatedly. He began painting women regularly in the early 1940s and did so again later in that decade and more seriously in the 1950s. Often they are depicted in an almost graffitilike style, with gigantic, vacuous eyes, massive breasts, toothy smiles and clawlike hands set against colorful layers of paint." (The NYTimes)

The MoMA exhibition de Kooning: A Retrospective, up through January 9, 2012, is devoted to the full scope of the career of Willem de Kooning (American, b. the Netherlands, 1904–1997). In the show are some of the artist’s most famous, landmark paintings—including Pink Angels (c. 1945), Excavation (1950), and the celebrated third Woman series (1950–53)—plus examples from all of his most important series, ranging from his figurative paintings of the early 1940s to the breakthrough black-and-white compositions of 1948–49, and from the urban abstractions of the mid-1950s to the artist’s return to figurations in the 1960s, and the large gestural abstractions of the following decade.

The following is a short overview of de Kooning works included in the MoMA exhibition.
Woman 1 c.1950-51

Woman II

Pink Angels c.1945

Woman to Landscape
Easter Monday c.1955-56

Excavation c.1950

Gotham News c.1955

Seated Woman c.1952

Two Women with Still Life c.1953

de Kooning: A Retrospective 
By John Elderfield
MoMA's Chief Curator Emeritus 
of Painting and Sculpture

Published in conjunction with this large-scale multi-medium posthumous retrospective of Willem de Kooning's career, the publication offers an unparalleled opportunity to appreciate the development of the artist's work as it unfolded over nearly seven decades, beginning with his early academic works, made in Holland before he moved to the United States in 1926, and concluding with his final, sparely abstract paintings of the late 1980s. The volume presents approximately 200 paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints, covering the full diversity of de Kooning's art and placing his many masterpieces in the context of a complex and fascinating pictorial practice. An introductory essay provides an in-depth exploration of de Kooning's development, context and sources, theory of art, and working methods. Sections devoted to particular areas of the artist's oeuvre provide an illustrated chronology of the period and a brief introduction, as well as detailed entries on groups of works. With lavish, full-color documentation, this landmark publication is the most complete account of de Kooning's artistic career to date.
Paperback, 504 pages, 628 illustrations. SIZE: 12h x 9.5w x 1.25"d PUBLISHED: 2011 ISBN: 9780870707988
$39.95 Sale
Item #798
(sources: MoMA Press Department & Website , Encyclopedia Britanica, the NYTimes)

Farewell to 3 Artists

2011 saw the passing of three great artists: the famous British artist Lucian Freud (grandson of the father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud), the American Sculptor of crushed automobile parts John Chamberlain and the American "Scribble" Painter Cy Twombly.

 Lucian Freud, "Queen Elizabeth"

Cy Twombly “Untitled” 2007
Image from Gagosian Gallery
He once described his work as 
“more like I’m having an experience than making a picture.”

Book: John Chamberlain: New Sculpture [Hardcover] by Thomas Crow Price: $100.00 or  $62.00 at

Links to obits and more images:

What to do 
for a Hangover!
"The Morning After!"

The classic Bloody Mary!
If New Year's Eve is the official "drinking holiday", then January 1st  is the official day for hangovers and hangover cures. The symptoms are usually a dry mouth, nausea, extreme fatigue, dizziness and a headache.

For a hangover, most who have experienced one say to find a quiet environment and plan to stay in bed for 8 hours and more, hopefully sleeping. Put on some soft music, turn off the TV, turn off your cell phone and stay away from the computer. No sudden movements and taking an aspirin and shower will make you feel better.

Remember your body is out of balance.
- A glass of yellow Gatorade will help with dehydration and electrolytes. Water is always an option for hydrating (sip slowly at room temperature). Drinking 2 eight oz glasses before you go to bed on New Years Eve will help the most.
- Proteins and some starchy carbs usually help (some believe cold pizza, soft tacos or egg sandwiches with mayo on white bread work). 
- Drinking black tea or black coffee will put some caffeine into your system. 
- If you feel nauseated, try some Coca Cola, chicken soup and toast in small amounts. Also consuming some Jello or pudding has been know to help.
- Some say taking another drink will help ease you back into reality. A Bloody Mary is a good choice.
- Raw Cabbage, Sauerkraut, Sauerkraut juice and Sauerkraut soup are ancient cures.
- Although I have never made or even tasted the heavy Mexican dish called "Menudo", many serious drinkers swear it is the best cure for a hangover. Try eating some flour tortillas along with this dish. Menudo supporters say the hominy soaks up the alcohol still in the stomach.

Bloody Mary: For Your Hangover

1 oz SMIRNOFF NO.21 (Vodka)
4 oz Tomato Juice
.5 oz Worcestershire Sauce
.25 oz Tabasco Sauce
Pinch of salt & pepper
Sqeeze of Lemon, serve with the slice
A stalk of Celery
Pour all your ingredients over cubed ice in a highball glass and stir well. Sip slowly. (source: Smirnoff Vodka)

Drinking Sprite & Soda Water

Your hipster college roommate may have suggested the copious consumption of herbal teas. But now, Chinese scientists have declared that a swig of Sprite might be just what the doctor ordered. A group of researchers from Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou conducted experiments and found that Sprite and soda water promote the rapid break-down of acetaldehyde.

Acetaldehyde causes the dreaded feelings. When a person’s body is exposed to acetaldehyde many of the symptoms of a hangover, like headaches and wanting to throw up, manifest themselves.  

Promoting the rapid break-down of acetaldehyde and reducing the time acetaldehyde stays in your body, will minimize the harmful effects of drinking alcohol.

(Source: Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou)
Sauerkraut Hangover Soup


3 slices of bacon
1 sm onion chopped
1 teaspoon paprika
4 cups water
1 ham hock
1 green pepper seeded, deribbed and chopped
1 tomato sliced
16 ozs sauerkraut
1 Tblsp flour
1 cup sour cream, + some for accompainiment
1/2 lb spicy smoked sausage, thinly sliced 

In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, brown bacon until fat is rendered. Remove bacon with a slotted utensil and reserve for another use. Add onion to bacon drippings and saute until translucent (about 5 minutes). Add paprika, the water, ham hock, pepper, and tomato. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until meat is tender (about 1 1/2 hours).
Drain sauerkraut and turn into a colander. Briefly rinse under cold water and drain again. Add sauerkraut to the Dutch oven and simmer 20 minutes; do not overcook.
Remove ham hock from pot; pull meat from bones and return meat to pot. In a small bowl stir together flour and the 1 cup sour cream. Add to soup mixture along with sausage. Reheat to serving temperature, stirring; do not boil.
To serve, ladle into soup bowls and serve immediately. Pass a bowl of sour cream.

Prairie Oyster Hangover Cocktail
(one version)

  • 1 large can of tomato juice
  • 3 Tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • 4 slices of onion
  • 3 Tablespoons of sugar
  • 4 stalks of celery sliced
  • 2 teaspoons of Tabasco sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  • 1 egg yolk per glass
Mix top 8 ingredients in a container, let stand overnight. Strain.
Rinse a cocktail glass with the olive oil and discard oil. Pour in mixture, except egg yolk, to the glass, then place the egg yolk in carefully. Serve with a small spoon and a glass of ice water.

Menudo: A Meal to Cure a Hangover
My recommendation for this dish is to find a restaurant serving it and go there, but for the brave, here is a recipe. (I have not tested this recipe.)

  • 3 gallons water, divided
  • 2 1/2 pounds beef tripe, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons ground red pepper
  • 5 de arbol chile peppers
  • 6 japones chile peppers, seeds removed
  • 6 cups canned white or yellow hominy, drained
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 limes, juiced
  1. In a large pot, bring 1 gallon water to a boil. Place tripe in the pot, reduce heat, and simmer 2 hours. Periodically skim off fat with a spoon. Drain water, reduce heat, and pour in a fresh gallon of water. Continue to simmer tripe for 2 hours; drain.
  2. Pour remaining 1 gallon water into the pot with tripe, and bring to a boil. Stir in garlic and 1 white onion. Season with salt, pepper, oregano, and red pepper. Reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the broiler.
  4. Arrange the de arbol chile peppers on a baking sheet, and broil about 2 minutes, just until they begin to scorch. Remove from heat, slit lengthwise, and remove seeds. In a blender or food processor, blend the de arbol chili peppers and japones chile peppers until very finely chopped. Mix into the pot, and continue cooking 2 hours over low heat.
  5. Mix the hominy into the pot. Continue cooking 1 hour. Serve with remaining onion, cilantro, and lime juice.

Popular home-brewed remedies against hangover: eating eggs, sipping a bit of castor oil, Vitamin B effervescent pills, tomato sauce, work or anything that keeps you distracted from the discomfort. 

Before going to sleep, after a night of drinking, try a concoction known as Hangman’s Blood. “Into a pint glass, doubles of the following are poured: gin, whisky, rum, port and brandy. A small bottle of stout is added and the whole topped up with Champagne … It tastes very smooth, induces a somewhat metaphysical elation, and rarely leaves a hangover.”

It goes without saying, when drinking consider moderation and avoid drinking too much alcohol within any one 24 hour period. If you are prone to headaches, always avoid over consumption of alcohol.

Until later,
ARTSnFOOD, All rights reserved. Concept & Original Text © Copyright 2011 Jack A. Atkinson under all International intellectual property and copyright laws. Images © individual artists, fabricators, respective owners or assignees.