Willem de Kooning American/Dutch, 1904 - 1997

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Willem de Kooning - Event in a Barn
Auction
20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale
November 2022
Phillips, New York Auction
Est.: 2.500.000 - 3.500.000 USD
Realised: 3.055.000 USD
Details
Willem De Kooning - Untitled
Auction
20th Century Evening Sale
November 2022
Christies, New York
Est.: 8.000.000 - 12.000.000 USD
Realised: 9.321.000 USD
Details
Willem De Kooning - Untitled (Woman)
Auction
Post-War & Contemporary Art Day Sale
November 2022
Christies, New York
Est.: 70.000 - 100.000 USD
Realised: 107.100 USD
Details
Willem de Kooning - Untitled
Auction
20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale
November 2022
Phillips, New York Auction
Est.: 4.000.000 - 6.000.000 USD
Realised: 4.870.000 USD
Details
Willem De Kooning - Wading Man
Auction
Post-War & Contemporary Art Day Sale
November 2022
Christies, New York
Est.: 700.000 - 1.000.000 USD
Realised: 756.000 USD
Details
Willem De Kooning - Composition III
Auction
Post-War & Contemporary Art Day Sale
November 2022
Christies, New York
Est.: 900.000 - 1.200.000 USD
Realised: 1.134.000 USD
Details
Willem De Kooning - Untitled
Auction
Post-War & Contemporary Art Day Sale
November 2022
Christies, New York
Est.: 1.000.000 - 1.500.000 USD
Realised: 2.100.000 USD
Details
Willem De Kooning - Untitled
Auction
A Graphic Century including French Impressions: Prints from Ambroise Vollard and Henri M. Petiet
November 2022
Christies, New York (Online Auction)
Est.: 6.000 - 8.000 USD
Realised: 5.292 USD
Details
Willem De Kooning - Valentine
Auction
A Graphic Century including French Impressions: Prints from Ambroise Vollard and Henri M. Petiet
November 2022
Christies, New York (Online Auction)
Est.: 3.000 - 5.000 USD
Realised: 4.410 USD
Details
Willem De Kooning - Composition for Lisa
Auction
Modern & Contemporary Prints & Multiples
November 2022
Bonhams, New York
Est.: 3.000 - 5.000 USD
Realised: 3.188 USD
Details
Willem De Kooning - Untitled, from Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror
Auction
Modern & Contemporary Prints & Multiples
November 2022
Bonhams, New York
Est.: 3.000 - 5.000 USD
Realised: 3.570 USD
Details
Willem De Kooning - Untitled (Litho #7)
Auction
Modern & Contemporary Prints & Multiples
November 2022
Bonhams, New York
Est.: 2.500 - 3.500 USD
Realised: not available
Details

The artist Willem de Kooning

  • Pioneer of Action Painting and one of the most important artists of the 20th century.
  • His work was influential for Abstract Expressionism.
  • Arrived in the USA on board the SS Shelley as a stowaway.

As one of the most important artists of the 20th century, Willem de Kooning, along with Jackson Pollock, is one of the pioneers of action painting. His work is considered to be influential in the style of Abstract Expressionism. De Kooning was born in Rotterdam in 1904 as the son of a drinks manufacturer and a barmaid. He grew up under difficult family circumstances: his parents separated when he was two years old and later divorced – a rather unusual situation at the beginning of the 20th century.

He is said to have acquired the image of women that is later reflected in his women's series through the complicated relationship with his mother. During the time he was in her care, she is said to have worked in a harbour bar and had frequently changing male acquaintances. After an apprenticeship as a designer and having begun to study art, de Kooning finally arrived in the USA from Belgium in 1926 as a stowaway via the engine room of the SS Shelley.

He had planned the crossing together with an acquaintance after two failed attempts to emigrate to »the land of opportunity«. A year after arriving, he moved to New York. De Kooning struggled with anxiety and heart palpitations, which is why he took refuge in an alcohol addiction in the early 1950s. At the end of the decade, he retired to Long Island and set up a studio – where he finally died in 1992 of Alzheimer's disease. The two renowned art critics Harold Rosenberg and Clement Greenberg are said to have contributed to de Kooning's story of success.

Both openly expressed their enthusiasm for his work on several occasions. The only exceptions are the aforementioned women's pictures from the 1950s: With their more figurative form, they stand out from de Kooning's usual Abstract Expressionist work. Greenberg in particular expressed his displeasure with the young artist's series of works. However, this criticism did not stop the Museum of Modern Art from buying the painting Woman I (1950 – 1952) a short time later. 

Der Künstler Willem de Kooning

  • Pionier des Action Painting und einer der bedeutendsten Künstler des 20. Jahrhunderts.
  • Jahrhunderts. Sein Werk hatte Einfluss auf den Abstrakten Expressionismus.
  • Gelangte als blinder Passagier an Bord der SS Shelley in die USA.

De Kooning wurde 1904 in Rotterdam als Sohn einer Bardame und eines Getränkefabrikanten geboren. Er wuchs unter schwierigen Familienverhältnissen auf: Seine Eltern trennten sich, als er zwei Jahre alt war und ließen sich später scheiden – zu Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts eine eher ungewöhnliche Situation. Das Frauenbild, das sich später in seiner Frauen-Serie widerspiegelt, soll er sich durch die komplizierte Beziehung zu seiner Mutter angeeignet haben.

In der Zeit, in der er in ihrer Obhut war, soll sie in einer Hafenkneipe gearbeitet und häufig wechselnde Männerbekanntschaften gehabt haben. Nach einer Gestalterlehre und einem begonnenen Kunststudium gelangte de Kooning 1926 schließlich als blinder Passagier über den Maschinenraum der SS Shelley  von Belgien aus in die USA. Die Überfahrt hatte er nach zwei gescheiterten Versuchen, in »das Land der unbegrenzten Möglichkeiten« zu emigrieren, gemeinsam mit einem Bekannten geplant. Ein Jahr nach der Ankunft zog er nach New York.

De Kooning soll mit Angstzuständen und Herzrasen zu kämpfen gehabt haben, weshalb er sich Anfang der 1950er-Jahre in eine Alkoholsucht flüchtete. Ende des Jahrzehnts zog er sich nach Long Island zurück und errichtete sich ein Atelier – wo er 1992 nach einer langwierigen Alzheimer-Erkrankung schließlich starb. Zu de Koonings Erfolgsgeschichte sollen vor allem die beiden renommierten Kunstkritiker Harold Rosenberg und Clement Greenberg beigetragen haben – beide gaben ihre Begeisterung für sein Werk mehrfach offen kund.

Eine einzige Ausnahme stellen die oben genannten Frauen-Bilder aus den 50er-Jahren dar: Sie heben sich mit ihrer eher figurativen Gestalt von de Koonings üblicher Arbeit des Abstraktem Expressionismus ab. Insbesondere Greenberg äußerte seinen Missmut über die Werkreihe des jungen Künstlers. Das Museum of Modern Art hielt diese Kritik allerdings nicht davon ab, das Gemälde Woman I (1950 – 1952) kurze Zeit später aufzukaufen.

Willem de Kooning - Untitled
Auction
20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session
November 2022
Phillips, New York Auction
Est.: 60.000 - 80.000 USD
Realised: not available
Details
Willem De Kooning - Untitled III
Auction
20th Century Evening Sale
November 2022
Christies, New York
Est.: -1 - -1 USD
Realised: 27.000.000 USD
Details
Willem De Kooning - Japanese Village
Auction
Prints and Multiples
October 2022
Christies, New York
Est.: 6.000 - 8.000 USD
Realised: 4.500 USD
Details
Willem de Kooning - Untitled
Auction
Editions & Works on Paper
October 2022
Phillips, New York Auction
Est.: 2.000 - 3.000 USD
Realised: 2.520 USD
Details
Willem de Kooning - Untitled
Auction
Editions & Works on Paper
October 2022
Phillips, New York Auction
Est.: 3.000 - 5.000 USD
Realised: 5.040 USD
Details
Willem de Kooning - Valentine (G. 16)
Auction
Editions & Works on Paper
October 2022
Phillips, New York Auction
Est.: 4.000 - 6.000 USD
Realised: 3.780 USD
Details
Willem de Kooning - Untitled (G. 404)
Auction
Editions & Works on Paper
October 2022
Phillips, New York Auction
Est.: 10.000 - 15.000 USD
Realised: 15.120 USD
Details
Willem De Kooning - Untitled (Montauk Series)
Auction
Post-War to Present
September 2022
Christies, New York
Est.: 150.000 - 200.000 USD
Realised: 403.200 USD
Details
Willem de Kooning - Composition for Lisa
Auction
Prints & Multiples Summer Splash
August 2022
Bonhams, New York
Est.: 3.000 - 5.000 USD
Realised: 3.825 USD
Details
Willem De Kooning - Untitled
Auction
First Open | Post-War & Contemporary Art
July 2022
Christies, New York (Online Auction)
Est.: 20.000 - 30.000 USD
Realised: not available
Details
Willem De Kooning - Untitled XVI
Auction
Modern & Contemporary Evening Auction
June 2022
Sothebys, London
Est.: 3.000.000 - 4.000.000 GBP
Realised: 3.545.000 GBP
Details
Willem De Kooning - Untitled - 1986
Auction
Limited Edition
May 2022
Artcurial, Paris
Est.: 7.000 - 9.000 EUR
Realised: 18.368 EUR
Details

Willem de Kooning in News and Exhibitions

Los Angeles: Getty Center

On June 7th, two exhibitions will open at the Getty Center Los Angeles: Tacita Dean and Conserving de Kooning: Theft and Recovery. The former looks at two new works by the English conceptual artist of the same name. The latter focuses on the conservation treatment of Willem de Kooning's Woman-Ochre, a painting that was lost until 2017.

June 06, 2022

Willem de Kooning in News and Exhibitions

Los Angeles: Getty Center

Am 7. Juni eröffnen im Getty Center Los Angeles gleich zwei Ausstellungen: Tacita Dean und Conserving de Kooning: Theft and Recovery. Erstere befasst sich mit zwei neuen Arbeiten der gleichnamigen englischen Konzeptkünstlerin. Letztere fokussiert sich auf die konservatorische Aufbereitung des bis 2017 verschollenen Gemäldes Woman-Ochre von Willem de Kooning.

June 06, 2022

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