Willem de KOONING |
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Netherlands 1904 - 1997
born 1904, Rotterdam; died 1997, East Hampton, N.Y.
Willem de Kooning was born April 24, 1904, in Rotterdam. From 1916 to 1925, he studied at night at the Academie van Beeldende Kunsten en Technische Wetenschappen, Rotterdam, while apprenticed to a commercial-art and decorating firm and later working for an art director. In 1924, he visited museums in Belgium and studied further in Brussels and Antwerp. De Kooning came to the United States in 1926 and settled briefly in Hoboken, New Jersey. He worked as a house painter before moving to New York in 1927, where he met Stuart Davis, Arshile Gorky, and John Graham. He took various commercial-art and odd jobs until 1935–36, when he was employed in the mural and easel divisions of the WPA Federal Art Project. Thereafter he painted full-time. In the late 1930s, his abstract as well as figurative work was primarily influenced by the Cubism [more] and Surrealism [more] of Pablo Picasso and also by Gorky, with whom he shared a studio.
In 1938, de Kooning started his first series of Women, which would become a major recurrent theme. During the 1940s, he participated in group shows with other artists who would form the ...
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