Publication Date: September 2011
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This publication offers an unparalleled opportunity to appreciate the development of the artist's work as it unfolded over nearly seven decades, beginning with his early academic works, made in Holland before he moved to the United States in 1926, and concluding with his final, sparely abstract paintings of the late 1980s. 488 pp.
About the AuthorJohn Elderfield has served as chief curator of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and has written widely on art.
Willem de Kooning was born in 1904 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. He came to the United States in 1926 and settled briefly in Hoboken, New Jersey, where he worked as a house painter before moving to New York in 1927. After working in the mural and easel divisions of the WPA Federal Art Project in the mid-30s, he was able to paint full-time. During the 40s, he participated in group shows with other New York School artists, the Abstract Expressionists. De Kooningis first solo show, in 1948, at the Egan Gallery in New York, firmly established his reputation as a major artist; countless gallery and museum shows were to follow. He was honored with a retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1997. De Kooning died that year on Long Island.