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Willem de Kooning

1987 Paintings

November 3 - December 15, 2001
522 W 22 Street
Opening Friday, November 2, 2001

Press Release

Matthew Marks is pleased to announce, Willem de Kooning: The 1987 Paintings, the major fall exhibition in his gallery at 522 West 22nd Street.

Shown together as a group for the first time, the twelve paintings in this exhibition were made during the last year in which de Kooning was fully active as a painter. Although painted nearly fifteen years ago, half these works are only now being publicly exhibited for the first time.

Xavier Fourcade, de Kooning's dealer for almost 25 years, died in February 1987. This was followed by Elaine de Kooning's death in 1989. A moratorium was placed on de Kooning exhibitions and it was not until The Museum of Modern Art's 1997 exhibition, Willem de Kooning: The Late Paintings, The 1980s, when two 1987 paintings were reproduced in the catalogue and three others later added into the exhibition that any of these works were seen by the public. Four of the paintings from MoMA's show will be loaned to this exhibition.

Since that time the 1987 paintings, although rarely exhibited publicly, have received a significant amount of attention. They are a distinct body of work in de Kooning's oeuvre. The colors are bright and the brushstrokes are bold and virtuoso. For artists and connoisseurs of painting they represent the last great works of one of the most important painters of our time. Since 1953 when de Kooning first rejected abstraction and showed his Women paintings, his work has always been controversial and the 1987 paintings are no different. Some people see a decline in the quality of the work. This exhibition will give the viewers the first opportunity to examine this last body of work in depth and formulate their own opinions.

A fully illustrated catalogue will be published to accompany the exhibition, including an essay by Katy Siegel, Associate Professor of Art History at Hunter College. This will be the fourth Willem de Kooning exhibition at the Matthew Marks Gallery. The gallery has represented Willem de Kooning since 1992 and the estate of Willem de Kooning (in collaboration with Mitchell-Innes & Nash) since 1997.

A reception will be held on Friday, November 2nd from 6-8 P.M. at 522 West 22nd Street (between 10th and 11th Avenues). The exhibition will remain on view until December 22nd. Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 to 6:00 P.M. For further information or photographs, please contact Matthew Israel at (212) 243-0200.

Additional Information