In the late 1960s and 1970s Willem de Kooning and Dr. Henry Vogel shared a personal and professional relationship, one of mutual benefit that over time became a strong and lasting friendship. The many photographs that exist document Vogel on various occasions with his family or on independent trips to visit de Kooning after his move from the city to the Springs of East Hampton. De Kooning's new environs brought about a refreshing openness and light to his palette and provided the necessary environment in which to fully immerse himself in his work, a place secluded enough at the time to avoid the distractions of city life. On his frequent bicycle journeys through the country he became fascinated with the shimmering reflections on water and light bouncing off of wavelets; these experiences in turn found their way into his paintings and slipped into his process of creation.
Several of the works on offer in this grouping can be labeled as monotypes; or perhaps more correctly, as de Kooning himself has suggested, as decals or countertypes. It is through the process of pressing sheets of vellum or newsprint to the surface of his paintings that have created these works or have created the armature for these works which are combinations of "pulled" paint from another painted surface, in some cases with additional additive brushwork. At first what was simply the way of slowing the drying of the paint became a study in the effect of pressing paper to the painted surface. "In painting over some of the area and leaving the rest smooth, he achieved a new variation on the 'impossible' jumps of a brushstroke... this method adds a sense of mystery and complication to the surface. But, more importantly it helps to break up the traditional European ideal of parts of a picture fitted into a composed whole. Where Pollock exploded the faceted Cubist plane by throwing and dripping pigment, de Kooning struggles to dissolve the building unit of classical art into the sinews of the paint itself" (T. Hess, de Kooning: Recent Paintings, 1967, New York, p. 20).
The following works on offer display the unique light and color qualities that show de Kooning at his best, an artist with great will and talent who also happens to be a great listener and open to the influence of life on the subject of his art.