Willem de Kooning, ‘Untitled (The Commuter) ’, Christie's

Willem de Kooning (1904-1997)

Untitled (The Commuter)

signed 'de Kooning' (lower right)

oil on paper mounted on canvas

40 1/8 x 29 3/4 in. (101.9 x 75.5 cm.)

Painted in 1971-72.

Signature: signed 'de Kooning' (lower right)

New York, Sidney Janis, An Exhibition by de Kooning introducing His Sculpture and New Paintings, October-November 1972, no. 11 (illustrated).

Detroit, Gertrude Kasle, Willem De Kooning: Paintings, Drawing, Sculpture, May-June 1973.

San Francisco, Berggruen Gallery, Willem de Kooning: Selected Works from 1948-1978, March-April 1998.

San Francisco, Paul Thiebaud Gallery and New York, Paul Thiebaud Gallery, Willem de Kooning: Ten Works 1936-1974, January-March 2002 and May-June 2005, n.p., no. 8 (illustrated in color).

A. Kingsley, "Willem de Kooning Sidney Janis" ArtForum, December 1972, p. 80 (illustrated).

K. Baker, "Thiebaud's Fascinating Study of De Kooning' _San Francisco_Chronicle, Jaunaury 26 2002 p. D1 (illustrated in color).

A. Landi, "Willem de Kooning Paul Thiebaud," ArtNews, summer edition 2005, p. 190 (illustrated in color).

Campbell-Thiebaud Gallery, San Francisco

Acquired from the above by the present owner

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