A Conversation with Yvonne Jacquette and Amei Wallach on the life and work of Willem and Elaine de Kooning
An exhibition of paintings and works on paper by Elaine and Willem de Kooning will be on view at Heather James Fine Art, New York, from November 8, 2018 – February 28, 2019. De Kooning X De Kooning also features a selection of photographs of the artists by their close friend Rudy Burckhardt.
Highlights include Willem de Kooning’s Woman II, c. 1961, part of a critical body of work that became known as his “Women” series. This signature painting will be joined by earlier gouaches from 1937-42 — initiated right before meeting Elaine — and a pair of his small-scaled abstract paintings completed in 1958 — soon after the couple separated. Elaine de Kooning’s skill at integrating abstraction into realistic portraiture is reflected in a grouping of her large-scale oil paintings and sketches of subjects including writers and friends.
During the height of Abstract Expressionism in New York City, and largely overshadowed by her husband’s growing fame, Elaine persevered to create a rich and diverse body of work. At a time when it was thought that a women’s place was in the home, she challenged the status quo throughout her career as a ground-breaking artist, teacher, and writer. Among the group of Burckhardt’s photographs of the de Koonings is one of Willem at work on Woman I, 1950. Now considered to be among his most famous paintings, Woman I, 1950-52, and Woman II, 1952, are part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, NY.