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Willem de Kooning (1904-1997)
Property from the Collection of Lee V. Eastman
Willem de Kooning (1904-1997)

Head III

Details
Willem de Kooning (1904-1997)
Head III
signed and numbered 'de Kooning 4/12' (on the underside)
bronze with black patina
19½ x 9¾ x 10½ in. (49.5 x 24.7 x 26.6 cm.)
Executed in 1973. This work is number four from an edition of twelve plus three artist's proofs.
Provenance
Acquired from the artist
Literature
H. Gaugh, Willem de Kooning, New York, 1983, p. 101, no. 90 (another example illustrated).
J. Bell, "Willem de Kooning's New York," Arts Magazine, vol. 50, November 1975, pp. 79-81 (another example illustrated).
Willem de Kooning: Drawings and Sculptures, exh. cat., Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 1974, n.p., no. 148.
Willem de Kooning, exh. cat., Fuji Television Gallery, Tokyo, 1975, n.p., no. 43 (another example illustrated).
De Kooning, exh. cat., Galerie des Artes, Paris, 1975, n.p., no. 58 (another example exhibited).
De Kooning: New Works-Paintings and Sculpture, exh. cat., Fourcade, Droll, New York, 1975, n.p., no. 22 (another example illustrated).
De Kooning: Paintings, Drawings, Sculptures 1967-75: An Exhibition Sponsored by the Mary A. Sisler Foundation, exh. cat., Norton Gallery and School of Art, West Palm Beach, 1975, n.p., no. 27 (another example illustrated).
The Sculptures of de Kooning with Related Paintings, Drawings and Lithographs, exh. cat., The Arts Council of Great Britain, London, 1977, n.p., no. 21.
Willem de Kooning in East Hampton, exh. cat., The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1978, p. 124, no. 93 (another example illustrated).
De Kooning, 1969-78, exh. cat., University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art, Cedar Falls, 1978, p. 46, no. 35 (another example illustrated).
Willem de Kooning: Pittsburgh International Series, exh. cat., Carnegie Institute Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, 1979, p. 141, no. 124 (another example illustrated).
Willem de Kooning: The North Atlantic Light: 1960-1983, exh. cat., Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 1983, p. 111, no. 70 (another example illustrated).
Willem de Kooning Retrospective Exhibition, exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1983, p. 260, no. 276 (another example illustrated).
Willem de Kooning: Painting and Sculpture 1971-1983, exh. cat., Anthony d'Offay Gallery, London, 1984, n.p., no. 18 (another example illustrated in color).
Willem de Kooning, from the Hirshhorn Museum Collection, exh. cat., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., 1993, p. 145, no. 48 (another example illustrated in color).
Willem de Kooning: Sculpture, exh. cat., Mathew Marks Gallery, New York, 1996, p. 57, no. 21 (another example illustrated).

Lot Essay

Although de Kooning only made a limited number of sculptures, they stand as a powerful continuation of the artist's exploration of the figure. The bronze casts share similar gestural qualities with his paintings; by digging his fingers into the clay he was able to manipulate the form as he would with a brush loaded with paint.

"Thus, with merciless fingers - more cruel than any brushstroke or slash of a knife because more direct - de Kooning fondles and violates this mass of clay until all of it has been ripped open, ploughed through, broken up. Inanimate, apathetic matter is struck by life, exasperated by this tortured expression, retaining the marks of obsessing or obsessional thoughts, of an incessantly repeating practive or -quite simply- retaining painterly gestures" (C. Stoullig, "The Sculpture of Willem de Kooning," in Willem de Kooning, exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1984, pp. 241-242).

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