Untitled

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  • Provenance

    Arlene Bujese Galllery, East Hampton
    Matthew Marks Gallery, New York
    Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York

  • Exhibited

    East Hampton, Arlene Bujese Gallery, August 9 - August 28, 1997

  • Catalogue Essay

    As Willem de Kooning rocketed into his most prolific phase of his career in the 1950s, his artistic output seemed to come in all forms. Untitled, 1950-53 is an example of de Kooning’s fabulous industry during that time period. At once a study for larger paintings and a standalone work, the present lot is full of de Kooning’s rich figure-work, hissignature style evolving out of experiments in Cubism and previous forays into still-lifes. In Untitled, 1950-53, we observe de Kooning’s most famous subject, his Woman, in varying incarnations of existence. In the foreground at right, the largest nude dominates the piece, her polygonal body hinting at de Kooning’s maturing hand. Elsewhere, de Kooning plays with shadow and line, embellishing his much smaller figures with varying degrees of abstraction and verisimilitude.

    Though Untitled, 1950-53 has the distinguished air of a consumme at artwork, the largest figure in the drawing is undoubtedly a tribute tone of de Kooning’s most colorful depictions of his Women: Untitled(Three Women), 1948. Though it was painted several years before and bears the marks of an artist struggling to find his own visual language,the drawing features a figure with a pose nearly identical to that ofUntitled, 1950-53. Standing, with her left elbow extended away from her, the figure bears one of de Kooning’s favored postures, one of supreme confidence and even authority. It would be a figure that deKooning would return to again and again in his Woman years—an embodiment of feminine power.

171

PROPERTY OF A PROMINENT NEW YORK COLLECTOR

Untitled

1950-53
pencil on paper
9 3/8 x 7 1/2 in. (23.8 x 19.1 cm.)
Signed "de Kooning" lower center; further inscribed and encircled "22" upper left.

Estimate
$200,000 - 300,000 

Contact Specialist
Amanda Stoffel
Head of Day Sale
astoffel@phillips.com
+1 212 940 1261

Contemporary Art Day

New York 12 November 2013 11AM