Willem de Kooning, ‘The Privileged (Untitled XX)’, 1985, Gagosian

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

Exhibition Highlights

2017
New York,
PICASSO - DE KOONING
2015
Gagosian - Jason Ysenburg, 
NY,
Art Basel Miami Beach 2015
2015
Gagosian - Rysia Murphy, 
Gagosian - Rysia Murphy at Seattle Art Fair 2015
2015
Gagosian - Lidia Andich, 
Seattle,
Seattle Art Fair 2015
2015
Gagosian - Jason Ysenburg, 
NY,
Art Basel 2015

Solo Shows

2017
New York,
PICASSO - DE KOONING
2015
Gagosian - Freja Harrell, 
New York,
De Kooning The Last Beginning Install
2015
Gagosian - Freja Harrell, 
New York,
De Kooning Late Paintings Install

Group Shows

2015
Gagosian - Jason Ysenburg, 
NY,
Art Basel Miami Beach 2015
2015
Gagosian - Rysia Murphy, 
Gagosian - Rysia Murphy at Seattle Art Fair 2015
2015
Gagosian - Lidia Andich, 
Seattle,
Seattle Art Fair 2015
2015
Gagosian - Jason Ysenburg, 
NY,
Art Basel 2015
2015
Gagosian - Rysia Murphy, 
Gagosian - Rysia Murphy at SP-Arte 2015
View Artist's CV