Elaine de Kooning

(1918 – 1989)

Elaine de Kooning was a prominent American painter known for her work both as an Abstract Expressionist and Figurative Expressionist painter. Early on in her career, she gained prominence in the New York art scene, becoming a member of the Eighth Street Club. During her mid-20s, she married her former teacher the painter Willem de Kooning, with whom she maintained a long and often tumultuous relationship. Throughout her career, she often painted friends and contemporary figures, including a commissioned portrait of President John F. Kennedy. In the next few decades, the artist worked in a style influenced by prehistoric cave paintings. During her artistic career, she also worked as an editorial associate and art critic of Art News magazine, and taught at many universities, including the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, the University of California, Davis, Yale University, the Pratt Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Wagner College, and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

While at Tamarind in 1973, de Kooning created eighteen lithographs of which various color trial proofs are still available. She returned to Tamarind in 1975 as a guest artist to participate in the Suite Fifteen project.

The artist’s works are held in the collections of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, among others.