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Willem de Kooning


Willem de Kooning, La Guardia in Paper Hat, 1972

Born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands,  in 1904, Willem de Kooning emigrated to New York in 1926 and went on to become one of the best-known exponents of Abstract Expressionism.
De Koonings’ painted works feature biomorphic shapes and dynamic brushwork, and his famous Woman series of paintings featuring female figures has found its place in the art historical canon. His continual reworking of the overlapping forms leads to a compositional ambiguity, making it hard to distinguish foreground from background and pushing the subject itself further into abstraction.
De Kooning continued to paint well into his eighties. His later works are pared-down compared to the early paintings, though the use of biomorphic lines shows the continuity that runs throughout his oeuvre. His work has been the subject of numerous large-scale exhibitions, notably at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg in 2006, and can be found in numerous private and public collections throughout the world, including the Hirshorn Museum in Washington, D.C. and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. De Kooning died in 1997 in Long Island.

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