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Willem de Kooning (1904-1997)
Willem de Kooning (1904-1997)

Untitled

Details
Willem de Kooning (1904-1997)
Untitled
signed 'de Kooning' (upper left)
oil on paper mounted on canvas
30 x 41¾ in. (76.2 x 106 cm.)
Painted in 1968.
Provenance
Matthew Marks Gallery, New York
Solomon Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Exhibited
New York, Knodler, De Kooning; January 1968-March 1969, March 1969.

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Emily Woodward
Emily Woodward

Lot Essay

"You know the real world, this so-called real world, is just something you put up with, like everybody else. I'm in my element when I am a little bit out of this world: then I'm in the real world--I'm on the beam. Because when I'm falling, I'm doing all right; when I'm slipping, I say, hey, this is interesting! It's when I'm standing upright that it bothers me; I'm not doing so good; I'm stiff. As a matter of fact, I'm really slipping most of the time, into that glimpse. I'm like a slipping glimpser."

-Willem de Kooning

These paintings of the mid-1970s form the culmination of much that de Kooning had attempted in the past but never resolved. When he had first moved to the Springs on Long Island de Kooning had enjoyed the unique landscape of the area, and this in many ways had entered and informed his work. Now in the mid-'70s he became increasingly preoccupied with his immediate environment, its light and topography as well as, in particular, the wateriness of the landscape around Louse Point. "When I moved into this house," de Kooning observed in 1976, "everything seemed self-evident. The space, the light, the trees--I just accepted it without thinking about it much. Now I look around with new eyes. I think it's all a kind of miracle" (De Kooning quoted in M. Prather, Willem de Kooning Paintings, exh. cat. Washington, D.C., 1994, p. 197). Like Monet at Giverny, de Kooning looked to his immediate world and his own art to create a series of monumental abstract landscapes that were among the most exuberant paintings of his career, achieving a grand synthesis of the motifs that had formed his art since he left New York: the figure and the eastern Long Island landscape.

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