Raoul de Keyser, Airy (Vederlicht), 2010, acrylic on canvas, 34x44 cm

Gerhard Richter, Abdallagh, 2010, enamel on back of glass, 32x32 cm

The recent deaths of Cy Twombly and Lucien Freud got me thinking about elderly working artists.  I remember being really impressed by an exhibition of late Patrick Heron paintings in the Butler Gallery, Kilkenny many years ago. And the major De Kooning Retrospective at the Tate in 1995 showed that some of his best work was made when he was in his late 70’s and into his 80’s. Controversy surrounded  the last paintings made when he was suffering from Alheimer’s disease. He died in 1997 aged 92. The recent acceptance of the ‘provisional’ or unfinishedness within current painting practice suggests an interesting context from which to re-assess De Kooning’s late paintings.

I started a list of oldies working at the moment – Maria Lassnig (92), Richard Artschwager (88), Ellsworth Kelly (88), Alex Katz (84), Ida Applebroog (82) showed recently at Hauser & Wirth, Raoul de Keyser (81), Robert Ryman (81), Jasper Johns (81), Bridget Reilly (80), Gerhard Richter (79) website here, Howard Hodgkin (79) interviewed recently at San Diego Museum of Art, and Barrie Cooke (80) currently a retrospective at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin.  Relative youngsters Vija Celmins (73) and David Hockney (74) continue to make interesting work. Other suggestions welcome. Please leave a comment.

Posted by Robert Armstrong

Barrie Cooke, Blue Goldbeam, 2003, oil on canvas 185x185 cm

Hanging a Howard Hodgkin painting in San Diego Museum of Art

Ida Applebroog, installation shot Hauser & Wirth


3 thoughts on “Oldies

  1. Alison Pilkington

    Hi Robert another painter who continues to make great work and is now 96 is Carmen Herrera. I think she is a great painter who produces wonderful precise and poetic geometric abstract paintings

    1. painttube Post author

      Thanks for that Alison, and since the ‘Oldies’ post I came across some great images from a recent retrospective of Pierre Soulages at the Centre National d’Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou (2009/2010), and this year at the Martin-Gropius-Bau exhibition hall in Berlin. Looking good at 92. – Robert


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