hermitage museum foundation

Willem De Kooning Late Paintings Exhibition Catalogue

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Willem de Kooning. Late Paintings – A traveling exhibit at the Hermitage Museum, curated by Julie Sylvester, an HMF Advisory Board member, took place in 2006. Museum visitors could see paintings by this famous American artist who was of Dutch origin. More than 20 canvases by de Kooning (1904-1997) were presented, many of them coming from private collections, most of which have never been seen before.

Dutch-American painter Willem de Kooning was a first generation Abstract Expressionist. Starting as an “angry young man” in the 1930s, he is best known for his Women series-a subject he pursued from the beginning to the end of his career. In the 1970s he began to make sculptures. At a ripe old age, de Kooning’s furor made way for a quiet, almost conceptual art of painting that is nevertheless full of suspense. Heading in a new direction, his works became more drawing-like, with a preference for primary colors, eventually including pastel colors to the palette. Bridging the gap to Minimalism, he never abandoned gestural forms.