Willem de Kooning

Untitled, 1987

Oil on canvas
195,6 × 223,5 cm

Untitled, 1987 emphatically reveals Willem de Kooning as a mature artist working at the height of his creative powers. Here, the buoyant graceful lines of de Kooning’s abstract calligraphy are utterly sensual, and with his reduced and lyrical palette, nowhere is his grand ability as a colorist more poetically asserted than in these late masterpieces. The cascading lines describe a spatial openness and delicate balance that is freer and utterly confident as de Kooning literally draws on canvas in his purest fashion.

“I am becoming freer. I feel that I have found myself more in the sense that I have all my strength at my command. I think you can do miracles with what you have, if you accept it… I am more certain the way I use the paint and the brush.”


Willem de Kooning: 1987 Matthew Marks Gallery, New York, November – December 2001.
Willem de Kooning: The Late Paintings, 1980s. Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, October 3, 1995 – January 7, 1996; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, February 3 – May 8, 1996; Städtisches Kunstmuseum, Bonn, June 14 – August 11, 1996; Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, September 9 – November 23, 1996; Museum of Modern Art, New York, January 22 – April 29, 1997


Andrew Decker: The de Kooning Landscape (New York: Art News, no. 6, 1996) page 43.
Robert Storr: A Painter’s Testament: de Kooning in the ’80s (New York: MoMA Magazine, Winter/Spring, 1997) page 17.
Edward J. Sozanski: De Kooning’s Late Art Startlingly Impressive (Philadelphia: Philadelphia Enquirer, February 2, 1997).
Kenneth Baker: Art World Bustles in Big Apple Backdrop (San Francisco: San Francisco Chronicle, March 25, 1997) page E3.
Edvard Lieber: Willem de Kooning: Reflections in the Studio (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2000) page 92.
Alexi Worth: Willem de Kooning: Matthew Marks Gallery (New York: ArtForum, vol. XL, no. 5, January, 2002)page 142.

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Willem de Kooning