• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2104

    Selections From The Allan Stone Collection

    12 November 2007, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 619

    Willem de Kooning (1904-1997)

    Fallen Angels

    Price Realised  


    Willem de Kooning (1904-1997)
    Fallen Angels
    signed 'de Kooning' (lower center)
    charcoal, oil and wash on vellum
    17½ x 12½ in. (44.5 x 31.8 cm.)
    Executed in 1964-1965.

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Throughout his career, a large portion of de Kooning's artistic production was represented by works on paper (whether as studies, sections of larger works, works of art in their own right). These works on paper played a distinct part in his creative process, as he would draw to resolve an issue or problem, identify a line or figure, rework it, apply it to a canvas, and find a new opening or a solution. At the time Fallen Angels was created, de Kooning was working on the series of women painted on wooden doors, and had started the Clamdigger series. Fallen Angels, however, is distinct from many of the women drawings of the 1950s and 1960s, softer in line and more relaxed in style, and set in the suggested landscape of the skies. The drawing is imbued with a watery feel, as a wash disrupts the charcoal, and softens the lines even further. The line-up of falling or fallen angels includes breasts, wings, legs, knees and thighs, a face, eyes. Pathos and turmoil is achieved through the finish of the drawing rather than compositional elements. Without the mass of colors or reworking spent on many of the women and abstract paintings, de Kooning achieves a synthetic coalescence of form and abstraction in this work.


    Acquired from the artist


    S. Hunter, "Action Painting: La Generazione Eroica," Arte Moderna, 1967, vol. XIII, p. 76 (illustrated).
    S. Hunter, La Pittura Americana del Dopo Guerra, 1970, p. 90 (illustrated).
    Willem de Kooning: Slipping Glimpses 1920s to 1960s, exh. cat., New York, Allan Stone Gallery, December 2006, no. 26 (illustrated in color).


    New York, Allan Stone Gallery, de Kooning's Women, March-April 1966 (illustrated).
    New York, Allan Stone Gallery, Willem de Kooning: Liquefying Cubism, October 1994-January 1995, no. 48 (illustrated in color).