25 October 2022
Any art collector that recognizes and appreciates good art for what it is would know that artworks by renowned artists going to auction are a rare and special occurrence. Collectors travel all over the world in search of certain pieces that they want to add to their collections. Sotheby's is one of the world’s top destinations for auctions and art events.
This fall, Sotheby’s will be auctioning three artworks by Willem De Kooning. The auction date will likely be put on every collector’s calendar. Read ahead to find out more about De Kooning as an artist and how his three works have come up for auction.
Willem De Kooning, the Dutch-American artist, was one of the biggest names in the Expressionist movement. During his time and even after his death in 1997, De Kooning continued to inspire all those around him with his incredible work and unique approach to art.
De Kooning was not originally interested in painting, as he considered that to be something old-fashioned and more in likes with men like Cezanne or Monet. He believed that his future lay in commercial art instead, and as such, he moved to the United States. However, even despite his beliefs in where his future lay, De Kooning did eventually turn to painting, for which we are very thankful. He was inspired by artists like Picasso and Matisse.
De Kooning often made women the subject of his paintings, with exaggerated features and bold colors. Following that, he moved on to championing landscapes and channeling the legacy of artists like Van Gogh. Regardless of his paintings' subject matters, however, his use of colors and expert brushwork stood out. Some of his most famous paintings include Seated Woman, Pink Angels, Excavation, Rosy Fingered Dawn, and Woman and Child. Several of De Kooning’s works are on display in museums in the United States, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the National Gallery of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art.
Three artworks from the private collection held by De Kooning’s heirs will be debuted at auction this coming fall. The works are set to be auctioned during a contemporary art event held at Sotheby’s New York headquarters in November of this year. The works are expected to bring in a combined amount of $50 million.
The three paintings are large-scale works that De Kooning produced between 1960 to the 1980s. The first is a painting titled Montauk II, which was completed in 1969. The painting is oil on canvas, and the blue, green, and white shades in the painting stand out to make a glorious expressionist masterpiece. It is one out of five known paintings in the Eponymous series, which was completed in the same year. This painting alone is estimated to sell for between $10 million to $15 million.
The second work is an untitled painting said to be completed in 1979. This untitled painting is estimated to sell for between $30 million to $40 million. And finally, the third work is a painting titled The Hat Upstairs. This painting, which was completed in 1987, is made up of striking red and orange brushwork, and the November auction at Sotheby's will be the first time it is displayed in a public setting. It is estimated to sell for between $8 million to $12 million.
All three of these works were painted by De Koon in his East Hampton studio. The studio was a part of a home that De Koon designed himself and lived in from the mid-1960s until his death in 1997. According to Sotheby's chairman Lisa Dennison, it will be a rare treat to see the three artworks presented together, as they show an evolution of De Koon's painting over a period of three decades. The works are expected to be sold for an incredible $50 million, and it is yet to be seen if the three paintings will be separated or sold to one bidder.
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