Willem de Kooning - Woman, I

Willem de Kooning (American, born the Netherlands. 1904-1997)
Woman, I, 1950-52
Oil, enamel and charcoal on canvas
6' 3 7/8" x 58" (192.7 x 147.3 cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase.
© 2011 The Willem de Kooning Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Willem de Kooning - Excavation

Willem de Kooning (American, born the Netherlands, 1904–1997)
Excavation, 1950
Oil and enamel on canvas
81 x 100 1/4 in. (205.7 x 254.6 cm)
The Art Institute of Chicago. Mr. and Mrs. Frank G. Logan Purchase Prize Fund; restricted gifts of Edgar J. Kaufmann, Jr., and Mr. and Mrs. Noah Goldowsky, Jr.
© 2011 The Willem de Kooning Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Major retrospective of Willem de Kooning at the MoMA

On view at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, from September 18th 2011 to January 9th 2012; 'de Kooning: A Retrospective' is the first major exhibition devoted to the full scope of the career of Willem de Kooning.

Source: Museum of Modern Art / theartwolf.com

"Style is a fraud. I always felt the Greeks were hiding behind their columns".
Willem de Kooning

Willem de Kooning (Rotterdam, 1904 - Long Island, 1997) was one of the most important abstract expressionist artists. Today his fame is only surpassed by Jackson Pollock, to whom he is often compared, specially after that two works by de Kooning and Pollock reign at the top of the "most expensive paintings ever sold" list. But, unlike Pollock (who died at the age of 44 in a car accident), Willem de Kooning was a long-lived artist whose career spans from the late 20s to the early 80s

Featuring more than 200 works, the exhibition "provides an unparalleled opportunity to study the artist’s development over nearly seven decades", as the MoMA explains in a press release. In addition, "de Kooning: A Retrospective" is the first exhibition to occupy the Museum’s entire sixth-floor gallery space.

The exhibition follows is structured chronologically in seven galleries, beginning with two early academic works made in his native Holland, including a "Still Life" dated 1916-17. Following these two works is a survey of paintings that de Kooning made in New York, from his early abstractions of the 1930s to the first series of Woman paintings (1940-46).

The press note explains that "De Kooning’s breakthrough years (1945–49) saw the artist working simultaneously in abstract and representational styles". A work from this period, titled "Painting" (1948), was the first painting by de Kooning to enter any museum, with MoMA acquiring it that same year.

"Woman I" (1950–52) -probably de Kooning’s most famous work- began the "notorious" third Woman series (1950–53). In the following decade, the artist moved to the east end of Long Island. In the 1970s, de Kooning experimented with lithograph and sculpture, but went back to painting in 1975. In the mid 1980s, the artist's health deteriorated, but he remained active till the end of the decade.

Related content

Willem de Kooning: the figure: movement & gesture (exhibition at the Pace Gallery, 2011)

Willem de Kooning - Woman I - masterworks of painting

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