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Untitled XXI

Willem de Kooning, American (born Netherlands), 1904 - 1997


Oil on canvas

6 feet 5 inches × 7 feet 4 inches (195.6 × 223.5 cm) 7 feet 1 3/4 inches × 8 feet 1 1/2 inches × 8 1/8 inches (217.8 × 247.7 × 20.6 cm)

© The Willem de Kooning Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Curatorial Department:
American Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Partial and promised gift of Dennis Alter, 1994

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Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art Handbook (2014 Edition)

    Willem de Kooning, who came of age in the 1940s and 1950s during the efflorescence of the Abstract Expressionists, was the only original member of the group to continue to extend the basic stylistic premises of gestural painting long after the movement had waned. Characterized by a reduced palette and surfaces that vary from smoothly sanded to sensuously brushed, Untitled XXI suggests the clarity, purity, and intensity of the artist’s late works. What is at once dramatic and erotic is the language of paint itself, articulated through de Kooning’s energetic adjustments of space, line, color, and texture that engage the viewer’s eye and emotions. John Vick, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2014, p. 393.