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Elaine de Kooning: Making It Happen

Elaine de Kooning - Juarez - 1958 - Oil on masonite - 35 3/4 x 47 7/8 inches (90.8 x 121.6 cm) - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY (click photo for larger image)American Abstract Expressionist Elaine de Kooning (1918-1989) was a prolific artist, art critic, portraitist, and teacher. Although her early career was overshadowed by that of Willem de Kooning, her husband, Elaine's artistic range, vast knowledge of media, and influence on fellow artists was profound. Her success as an art critic largely contributed to a broader recognition and understanding of Abstract Expressionism—and its value.

Many of de Kooning’s so-called “pure” abstract paintings were produced during the 1950s. However, much of her later art fused abstraction with mythology, primitive imagery, and realism. A world traveler, she was exposed to and inspired by a wide variety of art that helped make her one of the more diverse artists among her colleagues.

Elaine de Kooning's work continues to receive increasing critical attention as she was, without question, one of the most important figures of the postmodern era—and beyond. You can read more about Elaine de Kooning right here on What About Art?.

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