Artist | Willem de Kooning (1904 - 1997)

Alias: Willem de Kooning [Willem DeKooning, William de Kooning]

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    • Willem de Kooning

      Woman Accabonac1966



Willem de Kooning was born in Rotterdam in 1904. His father was a successful wine and beer distributor, his mother was a bartender in a café. At the age of twelve he was apprenticed to a firm of commercial artists and then enrolled at the Rotterdam Academy of Fine Arts, which he attended for eight years. The training he received there was technically extremely thorough - he learnt, for example, to produce drawings of impeccable realism. He emerged as an all round professional: painter, illustrator, designer, decorator.
In 1926 de Kooning emigrated as a stowaway to America where he worked first as a house painter, then set himself up in New York City as a commercial artist. He soon became involved with avant-garde artists, notably Arshile Gorky, who became a close friend, and the artist, critic and connoisseur John Graham, who had lived in Paris and knew Picasso. About 1936 he began to paint full-time and experienced a long period of often extreme poverty, until his work finally began to sell in the early 1950s. But during this period his reputation in the artistic 'underground' burgeoned, de Kooning becoming a celebrated and revered figure among his fellow artists.

About the work (english / deutsch)

About the work (english / deutsch)

Woman Accabonac
Woman Accabonac, painted in 1966, is an important example from this phase. The pink flesh color of the life-size female figure, which almost thrusts itself upon the viewer, predominates. All the shapes of form - and above all the breasts and extremities - are spread out over the surface and contoured with red. The tan surroundings blend with the figure to form a painted surface which foregrounds less the bodily, carnal or erotic aspects, and more the painterly side to the composition. This also shifts the figure closer to the viewer, in that, juxtaposed to the yellow, the pink starts to vibrate and pulsate. In de Kooning's work, color becomes tangible, haptic material. This material character blends with the corporeality of the figure to form a unit consisting of the sexual attraction of the female body and the energetic force of painting.

Woman Accabonac
Das Werk Woman Accabonac von 1966 gehört einer Phase an, in der die Figur wieder in den Vordergrund des bildnerischen Interesses tritt. Die sich dem Betrachter geradezu aufdrängende rosa Fleischfarbe, der in Lebensgröße gemalten Frauenfigur, dominiert das gesamte Bild. Alle Körperformen vor allem die Brust und die Extremitäten - sind in die Fläche gebreitet und mit roter Farbe konturiert. Die gelbbraune Farbe des Umraumes endlich verschmilzt mit der Figur zu einer Flächenmalerei, rückt sie aber auch in die Nähe des Betrachters, indem das Rosa gegenüber dem Gelb in eine vibrierende, pulsierende Bewegung gerät. Farbe wird bei de Kooning zu einer fühlbaren und tastbaren Materie. Ihre Materialität verbindet sich mit der betonten Fleischlichkeit der Figur zu einer Einheit aus sexueller Ausstrahlung des weiblichen Körpers und energetischer Kraft der Malerei.

German text by Rolf Lauter / Translation by Jerema Gaines
(Extract - Full printed version available in the Museum)
MMK - Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main

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Exhibition History 

Exhibition History

SUMMARY based on artist-info records. More details and Visualizing Art Networks on demand.
Venue types: Gallery / Museum / Non-Profit / Collector
Exhibitions in artist-info 338 (S 83/ G 255) Did show together with - Top 5 of 3367 artists
(no. of shows) - all shows - Top 100
Jackson Pollock [Paul Jackson Pollock] (132)- 318
Robert Motherwell (127)- 316
Franz Kline [Franz Jozef Kline] (106)- 167
Mark Rothko [Marcus Rothkowitz] (93)- 247
Arshile Gorky [Vosdanig Manoog Adoian] (89)- 215
Exhibitions by type
338:   118 / 154 / 62 / 4
Venues by type
192:   69 / 71 / 49 / 3
Curators 138
artist-info records Sep 1936 - Sep 2022
Countries - Top 5 of 15
United States (196)
Germany (41)
Italy (24)
United Kingdom (15)
France (13)
Cities - Top 5 of 78
New York (140)
Venezia (14)
London (14)
Berlin (10)
Paris (10)
Venues (no. of shows ) Top 5 of 192
Whitney Museum of American Art (22)
Museum of Modern Art - MoMA (1/7) (14)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum - SRGM (13)
Mnuchin Gallery (7)
Sidney Janis Gallery (7)
Curators (no. of shows) Top 5 of 138
Luca Massimo Barbero(6), Peter Selz(5), Lawrence Alloway(5), Dana Miller(4), Riva Castleman(4)
Offers/Requests Exhibition Announcement S / G Solo/Group Exhibitions   (..) Exhibitions + Favorites
PermalinkExhibition TitleExhibition Title

Die Form der Freiheit

 - Internationale Abstraktion nach 1945
Museum Barberini G Jun 2022 - Sep 2022 Potsdam (6) +0
Zamani, Daniel (Curator)       +0
PermalinkExhibition TitleExhibition Title

The Great Graphic Boom

Staatsgalerie Stuttgart G Jul 2017 - Nov 2017 Stuttgart (68) +0
PermalinkExhibition TitleExhibition Title


 - Kunst zwischen Pazifik und Atlantik, 1945-–1965
Haus der Kunst G Oct 2016 - Mar 2017 München (189) +0
Wilmes, Ulrich (Curator)       +0
Lorz, Julienne (Curator)       +0
Brantl, Sabine (Curator)       +0
Schneider, Anna (Curator)       +0
Milnes, Daniel (Curator)       +0
PermalinkExhibition TitleExhibition Title

Abstract Expressionism

Royal Academy of Arts G Sep 2016 - Jan 2017 London (49) +0
Anfam, David (Curator)       +0
Devaney, Edith (Curator)       +0
PermalinkExhibition TitleExhibition Title


 - Thoughts Left Visible
The Met Breuer G Mar 2016 - Sep 2016 New York (7) +0
PermalinkExhibition TitleExhibition Title

I got rhythm

 - Art and Jazz since 1920 | Kunst und Jazz seit 1920
Kunstmuseum Stuttgart G Oct 2015 - Mar 2016 Stuttgart (90) +0
Groos, Ulrike (Curator)       +0
Beckstette, Sven (Curator)       +0
Müller, Markus (Curator)       +0
Milnes, Daniel (Curator)       +0
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