50 Years New in Asia

De Kooning’s Abstract Landscapes in Souvenir of Toulouse

Hong Kong | 5 October

Souvenir of Toulouse (1958) is a rare and emblematic example of Willem de Kooning’s masterful painterly practice during his pivotal transitional period of the late 1950s. The broad simplification of its composition is matched by a reduction of palette to royal blue, sunlit gold and both a creamy and pearlescent white, emblematic of the new expansiveness and infused glow of the painter’s late 1950s abstractions.  There is a distinct airiness in the present work which stands out amongst the other works of the “abstract parkway landscapes”, evoking the image of sunlight streaming through a car window, and a flash of the Atlantic Ocean as the car speeds by. The selective, dazzling palette, muscular sweeping gestures and balanced configuration emphasize the texture of paint and the artist’s luxuriant celebration of his medium, establishing the work as a superlative example of this pivotal “abstract parkway landscape” series. This iconic work will be featured in Sotheby’s Modern Evening Auction on 5 October 2023 in the Hong Kong Autumn Sale, presented in partnership with Qatar Executive.

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