A Life of Discovery: Works from The Allan Stone Collection | Contemporary Art Online

A Life of Discovery: Works from The Allan Stone Collection | Contemporary Art Online

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 13. WILLEM DE KOONING | UNTITLED (STILL LIFE).


Lot Closed

December 10, 05:13 PM GMT


70,000 - 90,000 USD

Lot Details



1904 - 1997



double-sided oil and graphite on board

Board: 11¼ by 8¼ in. (28.6 by 21 cm)

Framed: 21½ by 18¼ in. (54.6 by 46.4 cm)

Executed in 1939.

Please note that this work will be exhibited at Sotheby’s. Purchased items will be available for collection at Crozier Fine Arts, 1 Star Ledger Plaza, Newark, NJ as of Thursday, December 13th.

Betty Parsons Gallery, New York

Private Collection, New York

Harold Diamond, New York

Allan Stone Gallery, New York

Aaron Furman, New York

Acquired from above by the present owner

Gabriella Drudi, Willem de Kooning, Milan 1972, cat. no. 3, illustrated

William C. Seitz, Abstract Expressionist Painting in America, Cambridge 1983, no. 2, illustrated

Sally Yard, Willem De Kooning: The First Twenty-Six Years in New York, New York 1986, no. 49, illustrated

New York, Allan Stone Gallery, De Kooning / Newman, October - November 1962

Detroit, J.L. Hudson Gallery, Willem de Kooning: Three Decades of Painting, March - April 1968, illustrated

New York, Allan Stone Gallery, Willem de Kooning: Liquefying Cubism, October 1994 - January 1995, pl. 7, illustrated

"Certainly Cubism with its rigid sculptural grid and carefully delineated volumetric forms was the most influential art idea of the early 20th century. By liquefying Cubism, de Kooning brought Cubism into the age of space-flight, jet-travel and electronic communication. Indeed, de Kooning created such dynamism in his work that one feels that the painting is continually moving and that to look away from it is to miss some of the happening."

Allan Stone in Exh. Cat., New York, Allan Stone Gallery, Liquefying Cubism, 1994, pp. II-III

Of all the abstract painters exhibited and collected by Allan Stone, none is more closely associated with his program and expertise than the Abstract Expressionist giant Willem de Kooning. Allan Stone mounted numerous comprehensive exhibitions of de Kooning's work, and many of the most revered de Kooning paintings and works on paper in prestigious collections passed through Allan Stone's hands.

Untitled (Still Life), 1939, demonstrates a clear response to European Surrealist tendencies, as well as de Kooning’s admiration for Paul Klee and Joan Miró. It also explores a dialogue with the work of John Graham and Stuart Davis (both of whom de Kooning met around 1927). This biomorphic painting relates closely to the early abstract work, Father, Mother, Sister, Brother, c. 1937, that was exhibited in the artist's retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 2011.

Willem de Kooning was born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in 1904. As a youth, he spent nights studying at the city’s Academy of Fine Arts and Techniques. In 1926, de Kooning immigrated to the United States. While establishing himself among the group of ascendant Abstract Expressionists, de Kooning briefly taught at Black Mountain College and the Yale University School of Art. He painted voraciously from the 1940s through the late 1980s, when dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease halted his artistic production. Early shows at Charles Egan Gallery and Sidney Janis Gallery segued into large scale exhibitions at the Smithsonian Institute, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Posthumous exhibitions include a full-career retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in 2011, among smaller shows at Gagosian, Pace, and Allan Stone Gallery. During his lifetime, de Kooning received the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1964), the Andrew W. Mellon Prize (1979), and the National Medal of Arts (1986). The Willem de Kooning Foundation was established in 2011 by Lisa de Kooning, the artist’s daughter. De Kooning passed away in 1997, at his home in East Hampton, New York.