Willem de Kooning, ‘Albright Knox Gallery Program Cover  (Signed and inscribed from the Estate of Dr. Alan York, de Kooning's longtime Easthampton friend, collector -- and eye doctor!)’, 1975, Alpha 137 Gallery
Willem de Kooning, ‘Albright Knox Gallery Program Cover  (Signed and inscribed from the Estate of Dr. Alan York, de Kooning's longtime Easthampton friend, collector -- and eye doctor!)’, 1975, Alpha 137 Gallery
Willem de Kooning, ‘Albright Knox Gallery Program Cover  (Signed and inscribed from the Estate of Dr. Alan York, de Kooning's longtime Easthampton friend, collector -- and eye doctor!)’, 1975, Alpha 137 Gallery
Willem de Kooning, ‘Albright Knox Gallery Program Cover  (Signed and inscribed from the Estate of Dr. Alan York, de Kooning's longtime Easthampton friend, collector -- and eye doctor!)’, 1975, Alpha 137 Gallery

This is an extremely rare ink signed and dedicated offset lithograph, unevenly cut. (see image). It was the cover of the program for de Kooning's exhibition at the Albright Knox Gallery in 1975. What makes it exceptional and highly collectible is the fine provenance: it is hand signed in ink and warmly dedicated by Willem de Kooning in his inimitable hand to his good friend and longtime neighbor Dr. Alan York. It is extremely rare to find an authentic signature and warm inscription by Willem de Kooning, with such fine provenance - which makes this such a collectible piece. Put simply --one rarely sees authentic autographs, let alone one with a personal dedication, at this price point written and signed by Willem de Kooning to his good friend and neighbor! Dr. Alan York of East Hampton was de Kooning's longtime optometrist and close personal friend, who died in 2014. In a tribute to Dr. York, the East Hampton star writes, "He counted among his patients the artist Willem de Kooning, with whom he spent hours discussing the old masters while watching him paint. Understanding how de Kooning painted helped him make glasses suitable for both his close-up and faraway work..."

Condition
Good vintage condition; top edge, with spiral punch outs with some damage and small losses to paper. Abrasion and one small scuff to lower left quadrant, otherwise in good shape. Extremely rare piece of art history - would look terrific when framed. What makes this special is the personal inscription and signature from de Kooning on a spiral bound exhibition program cover. Anomalous shape will look fine framed. Valuable collectors item.

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Signature: Hand signed and personally dedicated "to Alan" by the artist.

Estate of Alan York, de Kooning's friend/optometrist.

About Willem de Kooning

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.

Dutch, American, 1904-1997, Rotterdam, Netherlands, based in New York and East Hampton, New York