Willem de Kooning

Women Singing II


Not on display

Willem de Kooning 1904–1997
Oil paint on paper on canvas
Support: 914 × 610 mm
frame: 990 × 690 × 65 mm
Presented by the artist through the American Federation of Arts 1970

Display caption

This is one of three paintings by De Kooning titled Women Singing. They were based on pop singers the artist saw on television. The energetic style and vibrant colours are typical of De Kooning''s work of the 1960s. Interviewed by Sylvester a few years earlier, he spoke of the authority that he felt he had achieved in his painting. ''I have all my forces ... I have a bigger feeling now of freedom. I am more convinced ... of picking up the paint and the brush and drumming it out.''

Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry

Willem de Kooning born 1904 [- 1997]

T01178 Women singing II 1966

Inscribed 'de Kooning' b. centre
Oil on paper mounted on canvas, 36 x 24 (91.5 x 61)
Presented by the artist through the American Federation of Arts 1969
Exh: de Kooning: Recent Paintings, Knoedler, New York, November-December 1967 (20); de Kooning, University Art Museum, Berkeley, California, August-September 1969 (no catalogue)
Repr: Thomas B. Hess, de Kooning: Recent Paintings (New York 1967), p.49

According to Xavier Fourcade (letter of 20 February 1970): 'There are two similar paintings of the same subject. One, "Women singing I", is in the collection of Mr and Mrs Gianluigi Gabetti in New York, the other "Singing Women", is in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.

'I have always been told by Bill de Kooning that this image of singing women is a memory of pop singers he saw on television.'

All three pictures were painted in 1966.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.396-7, reproduced p.396


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