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    Sale 2104

    Selections From The Allan Stone Collection

    12 November 2007, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 623

    Willem de Kooning (1904-1997)

    Seated Woman

    Price Realised  


    Willem de Kooning (1904-1997)
    Seated Woman
    signed 'de Kooning' (lower left)
    graphite on paper
    11 7/8 x 9 in. (30.2 x 22.9 cm.)
    Drawn in 1942.

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    Willem de Kooning's 1942 Seated Woman is an early example of the artist's treatment of the subject that would form the basis of some of his most important works, the female nude. In this lovely drawing created in pencil on paper, we see de Kooning looking closely at his model, building up the forms from the core of her torso and leaving her extremities more loosely sketched. De Kooning's marked predilection for the fragmentation of form into abstract elements emerges here in the way he concentrates on several discrete passages in his subject's figure. The figure's collarbone and breasts are modeled in such a way to form an intriguing sculptural ensemble unto themselves, while her folded legs are arranged into intersecting diagonals that create an interesting spatial disjuncture, and her upturned head contrasts with the body as it is sketched in an angular yet fluid profile. These different passages in the present drawing represent compositional elements that de Kooning would concentrate on and metamorphose in other painted works. De Kooning began his first important series of paintings of women in the 1940s, after abandoning his series of men. The brightly colored paintings of this period, such as Seated Woman&I in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, exhibit some of the same compositional preoccupations seen in his pencil drawing, such as the focus on the core of the body that diffuses outward, the globe-like sculptural forms of the breasts, and the emphasis on the bold folded legs. Throughout de Kooning's career in painting, the role of drawing played an extremely important role, as it served as the starting point for his revolutionary dissections of form on canvas. Seated Woman provides the viewer with a wonderful opportunity to examine de Kooning's direct investigation of the female form from life at a formative stage in his career.


    Acquired from the artist


    New York, Allan Stone Gallery, de Kooning's Women, March-April 1966 (illustrated).