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  • Design Credit: Elizabeth Roberts Architec̦ture & Design, Photo Credit: Dustin Aksland. Dimensions: H 41.25 in. x W 32.75 in.
  • Design Credit: Timothy Godbold, Photo Credit: Karl Simone. Dimensions: H 41.25 in. x W 32.75 in.
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Willem de Kooning
Beach Scene

1971

$18,000

About

An original signed lithograph on Suzuki paper by Dutch-American artist Willem De Kooning (1904-1997) titled "Beach Scene", 1971. Hand pencil signed by De Kooning lower right and numbered lower left. Limited edition: 32/39. Drawn by the artist on transfer paper and hand-printed from an aluminum plate with transparent black ink. Printed by Fred Genis, Hollanders Workshop and published by Knoedler both in New York, NY. Hollanders Workshop Incorporated blindstamp/chopmark lower left. Reference: "Willem De Kooning: Catalogue Raisonne de L'oeuvre Grave" - Lanier Graham No. 23. Provenance: private collection - Sarasota Bay Club, Sarasota, FL; acquired from Elizabeth Rice, Inc., Sarasota, FL retaining their original gallery label on verso. Framed in a black contemporary moulding and plexiglass. Framed size: 41.25" x 32.75". Sheet size: 37" x 28.5". Image size: 31" x 23". In excellent condition. Very rare. Willem de Kooning was a Dutch-born American painter who was one of the leading proponents of abstract expressionism. Born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in 1904, Willem de Kooning stowed away to the U.S. in 1926 and settled in New York City. While working in the commercial realm, de Kooning also was developing his artistic style, exploring both figure painting and more abstract subjects through the 1930s. By the 1940s, those two main tendencies seemed to fuse perfectly, notably in Pink Angels. De Kooning became known for his depiction of women, and women would dominate his paintings for decades. Later in life, de Kooning explored landscapes and even sculpture, before Alzheimer's disease made it impossible to continue on. He died in 1997 at age 92.

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About the Artist

Willem de Kooning

As the de facto leader of the New York avant-garde art movement of the 1950s known as Abstract Expressionism, Dutch-American painter Willem de Kooning blended figuration and abstraction in a revolutionary manner that has resonated for decades. His best-known paintings, which were most often of women but gesturally abstract, were unique and incredibly influential at the time. Today, de Kooning is widely considered one of the most important artists of the 20th century.

De Kooning trained in fine and commercial arts at the Rotterdam Academy in his hometown of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, before immigrating to the United States in 1926. His first job in America was as a house painter in New Jersey, and the period left an indelible impression on him as he brought large brushes, loose strokes and fluid paints into his work as an artist. He also worked on public murals under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (WPA) program in the 1930s. De Kooning’s studies weren’t executed but they included some of his first abstractions, which showed the influence of like-minded artists as well as the music of the Jazz Age. His broad foundation in classical drawing and physical labor are evident even in the most abstract of his works, which amounted to a fusion of Cubism, Expressionism and Surrealism.

It was in New York that de Kooning found the space and an abundance of inspiration to pursue art full time. Surrounded by prominent artists like Jackson Pollock, Arshile Gorky, Lee Krasner and Fernand Léger, de Kooning drew from the freedom and boldness with which they all approached their work. In 1943, he married Elaine de Kooning, a versatile and immensely talented New York painter with a significant role in the Abstract Expressionist movement.

A major motif in de Kooning’s work is the deconstructed female form. A collection of paintings demonstrative of this is now known as his “Woman” series of the early 1950s, which remains controversial more than half a century later. Drawing inspiration from photography in magazines and using vivid colors and expressive brushstrokes to unforgettable effect, de Kooning depicted his subjects as grotesque, sexualized and loosely abstracted forms, which many critics deemed angry and misogynistic. But it is this very fearlessness in visual and conceptual experimentation that made de Kooning a crucial figure of Abstract Expressionism.

Today, de Kooning’s work is among the most coveted art in the world. His Interchange (1955), with its bold lines and shapes executed in primary colors, is one of the most expensive paintings ever sold.

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About the Seller
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