Willem de Kooning

Dutch, American, 1904-1997

13,693 followers
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blue chip status
Blue Chip Representation
auction
$66m Auction Record

Willem de Kooning

Dutch, American, 1904-1997

13,693
Followers
blue chip status
Blue Chip Representation
auction
$66m Auction Record
Biography

A first-generation Abstract Expressionist, Willem de Kooning is one of the most important artists of the 20th century. In 1950s New York, when painters like Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline were moving away from representational imagery toward pure abstraction, de Kooning maintained a commitment to the figurative tradition, developing a signature style that fused vivid color and aggressive paint handling with deconstructed images of the female form—a then-controversial body of works that has become known as his “Women” paintings. “Flesh was the reason oil paint was invented,” he famously said. Influenced by Arshile Gorky and Pablo Picasso, de Kooning was often thought to have blended Cubism, Expressionism, and Surrealism in his signature style, paving the way for generations of gestural figurative painters like Cecily Brown. Following his “Women” series, de Kooning pursued non-objective lyrical abstraction until his death in 1997.

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Career Highlights
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blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
auction
High auction record
$66m, Christie's, 2016
user
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 7 more
group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 12 more
Instituion
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 3 more
fair
Included in a major biennial
documenta
Biography

A first-generation Abstract Expressionist, Willem de Kooning is one of the most important artists of the 20th century. In 1950s New York, when painters like Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline were moving away from representational imagery toward pure abstraction, de Kooning maintained a commitment to the figurative tradition, developing a signature style that fused vivid color and aggressive paint handling with deconstructed images of the female form—a then-controversial body of works that has become known as his “Women” paintings. “Flesh was the reason oil paint was invented,” he famously said. Influenced by Arshile Gorky and Pablo Picasso, de Kooning was often thought to have blended Cubism, Expressionism, and Surrealism in his signature style, paving the way for generations of gestural figurative painters like Cecily Brown. Following his “Women” series, de Kooning pursued non-objective lyrical abstraction until his death in 1997.

Want to sell a work by this artist? Consign with Artsy.
Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
auction
High auction record
$66m, Christie's, 2016
user
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 7 more
group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 12 more
Instituion
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 3 more
fair
Included in a major biennial
documenta
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