Willem de Kooning was born in 1904 in Rotterdam. After leaving school early, he worked as an apprentice house painter while attending night classes at the Academie van Beeldende Kunsten, before migrating to the United States in 1926. Once settled in New York he again worked as a house painter before dedicating himself to his art entirely in 1930, with periods of teaching at both Black Mountain College and Yale University. De Kooning is renowned for his Abstract paintings, in particular his Women series, which he first began in 1938 and of which the National Gallery holds an outstanding example, Woman V.

Later in life de Kooning broadened his attention to include sculpture, and in 1971 completed a sculptural edition, Untitled, at Gemini GEL. The edition was cast in pewter from a clay maquette. As in the majority of de Kooning’s paintings the subject of the work is the abstracted human figure.
Emilie Owens
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Further information will be added to this site as the National Gallery proceeds with its research and documentation.

Last updated August 2014