Willem de Kooning, ‘East Hampton XVII’, 1968, Sotheby's: Contemporary Art Day Auction

Please note, in 1981, Willem de Kooning donated this painting to the Guitar Workshop, a non-profit music school in Roslyn, New York in support of their "Music Therapy for Disabled Children" program. The proceeds from this sale will be used to fund programs at the Henry Viscardi School for Human Resources in Albertson, NY and the Cerebral Palsy Center in Roosevelt, NY.

From the Catalogue

"[The paintings of the 60s and 70s] seem to reflect the artist's response to the real world: the watery environment of East Hampton and the sensuality of human flesh. In Woman, Sag Harbor, for example, de Kooning outlined the figure's torso with a brush heavily loaded with a fluid yellow paint, which he brushed through still-wet areas of pink, red, green, and blue. As he worked, he dragged in the adjacent colors, blending them on the surface."—Susan F. Lake, Willem de Kooning: The Artist's Materials, Los Angeles 2010, p. 68

Courtesy of Sotheby's

Signature: signed

Gift of the artist to the present owner in December 1981

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