Lot 19: Willem de Kooning, “Clam Digger,” Lithograph, 1966
27 October 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Lithograph on Arches paper
Willem de Kooning (b.1904 - d.1997) -American Abstract Expressionist
Signed in pencil on recto
Numbered in pencil on recto, from an edition of 100 plus 10 Artist’s Proofs
Blindstamp of printer/publisher.
Printed by Irwin Hollander
Published by Hollander Workshop, New York in 1967
Work dimensions: 16 ½ x 20 in (41.91 x 50.8 cm)
Framed dimensions: 24 ½ x 28 x ⅝ (62.23 x 71.12 x 1.59 cm)
Willem de Kooning’s “Clam Digger” represents one of the artist’s most recognizable motifs, rendered throughout his career in a variety of media, including oil painting, bronze sculpture, and, as seen here, understated, single-color lithography. Evident here is de Kooning’s characteristically gestural, frenetic style, with which he crafts an indistinct‚ somewhat monstrous figure in apparent isolation.
Willem de Kooning (Dutch/American, b.1904 - d.1997)
As a young man, Willem de Kooning attended the Academie van Beelende Kunsten in Rotterdam while working at a commercial art and decorating firm. In 1926, he immigrated to the US and in 1927 he moved to New York, where he worked as a commercial artist. Quickly, he became involved with the New York avant-garde, spending time with John Graham, Arshile Gorky and Stuart Davis. These artists, including Miró, Arp, Picasso and Mondrian, influenced de Kooning’s early abstract work in the 1930s and 1940s where compositions of brightly colored biomorphic and geometric shapes and lines combined with architectural motifs. His simple, flat abstract design was a technique used throughout his prestigious career. He also frequently depicted the human body, women in particular. Already known as an influential artist, in the early 1970s, de Kooning experimented with sculpture, infusing his painted works’ energy into a three-dimensional stationary object. Like his paintings, his sculpture was unrestrained, reaching out and responding with their environment. Throughout his life, de Kooning oscillated between the abstract and the representational with elements of uncertainty, open to grow in any direction. Today, Willem de Kooning’s work is known internationally and can be located in renowned art collections such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. and the Tate Gallery in London.
In overall excellent condition.
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