Willem de Kooning, ‘Untitled’, Christie's

Willem de Kooning (1904-1997)


signed 'De Kooning' (lower right)

charcoal and pastel on paper mounted on paper

23 1/8 x 34 3/4 in. (58.7 x 88.2 cm.)

Executed in 1956-58.

Signature: signed 'De Kooning' (lower right)

Minneapolis, Walker Art Center; Ottawa, National Gallery of Canada; Washington, D.C., The Phillips Collection; Buffalo, Albright-Knox Gallery; Houston, Museum of Fine Arts and St. Louis, Washington University Art Gallery, De Kooning - Drawing/Sculptures, March 1974-June 1975, no. 87, fig. 26 (illustrated in color).

New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Baden-Baden, Staatliche Kunsthalle and Bremen, Kunsthalle, 20th Century Drawing: Three Avant Garde Generations, January-August 1976, n.p., no. 93 (Baden-Baden).

New York, Xavier Fourcade, Inc., Works on Paper, Small Format, Objects - Duchamp to Heizer, February-March 1977.

Boston, Harkus Krakow, Abstract Expressionism, May-June 1979.

Pittsburgh, Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh International Series, Willem de Kooning, October 1979-January 1980, p. 119, no. 90 (illustrated).

Houston, Janis C. Lee Gallery, De Kooning Drawings, March-April 1981.

Baltimore, C. Grimaldis Gallery, De Kooning: Paintings and Drawings, February 1982.

New York, Whitney Museum of American Art; Berlin, Akademie der Kunste and Paris, Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée national d'art moderne, December 1983-September 1984, p. 72. no. 70 (illustrated in color) and p. 110 (illustrated in color in the Paris exhibition catalogue).

T. B. Hess, Willem de Kooning: Drawings, Greenwich, 1972, p. 197, no. 81 (illustrated in color).

J. Elderfield, De Kooning: A Retrospective, 2011, New York, Museum of Modern Art, exh. cat, p. 288, fig. 9 (illustrated in color).

Xavier Fourcade, Inc., New York, acquired directly from the artist

Private collection, New York

Pace Gallery, New York

C & M Arts, New York

Acquired from the above by the present owner, 1994.

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