Untitled (Two Women)

Willem de Kooning_Two Women, 1964 - Casterline|Goodman Gallery

Untitled (Two Women), 1964

Charcoal on paper

11 x 8 1/2 inches (18 ¾ x 16 1/8 inches framed)

27.94 x 21.59 centimeters (22.225 x 40.957 centimeters framed)




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Willem de Kooning Biography

Willem de Kooning is one of the leading artists of the Abstract Expressionist movement and is known as one of the masters of the twentieth century. He was born in 1907 in Rotterdam and moved to the United States in 1926. From 1935-1937, de Kooning was chosen with thirty-seven other artists to make 105 murals for the New York World’s Fair. A year later, he took on an apprentice, Elaine Fried, who was also an Abstract Expressionist artist, and married her in 1943. With his contemporaries, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Robert Motherwell, Clyfford Still, Hans Hoffman, and Arshile Gorky, he founded the New York School, which was an informal group of poets, painters, dancers, and musicians active in the 1950s and 1960s.


De Kooning created his own style from the influences of Picasso’s Cubism and Miró's  Surrealism, and is known for his series of abstracted women. Through the gestural process of breaking down images he discovered that he understands the image more clearly. At first, critics dismissed the paintings as dismemberment female parts, but de Kooning truly explored the female body in painting and in sculpture as a deity, fertility goddess, and erotic symbol. 

After de Kooning’s death in 1997, his daughter created the Willem de Kooning Foundation, which kept part of his works and acted as a trust. De Kooning’s first major sale was his Pink Ladies, which sold for $3.6 million in 1987, and from that year on his records climbed. Two years later his Interchange (1955) sold for $20.6 million, and then in 2006 his Women III (1951-1953) sold for $137.5 million, which was the second most expensive painting ever sold at that time. 


Willem de Kooning has work featured in the permanent collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Museum of Modern Art in New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Tate Gallery in London; and the Australian National Gallery in Canberra to name a few.