Elaine de Kooning (American, 1919-1989) was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Her art training began after high school when she attended the American Artists School* and the Leonardo da Vinci School* where she studied with Conrad Marca-Relli, a teacher who encouraged her to work her own way and to work hard.
In 1943, she married de Kooning, a Dutch immigrant artist, and together and apart they worked relentlessly on their painting and she on the promotion of her husband's talents.
Elaine de Kooning became a noted Abstract Expressionist painter who also pursued portrait painting in a semi-realist style. However, like so many women artists of that era who married artists, her career was sublimated to that of her famous husband, Willem de Kooning. They became the leaders of the New York School* of painting social set in the 1940s, 50s and 60s.
Unlike many of her contemporaries, she did not completely abandon Realism, and much of her career was devoted to portraiture for which she was known in the 1950s and 60s. One of her most famous commissions was for President John F. Kennedy, which was in process at the time of the assassination. When he died, she was so saddened that she put down her brushes for a year.
Her personal life was tumultuous, largely due to her alcoholism, and the wild, heady times of riding the crest of Abstract Expressionism. She was a chain smoker, which caused her death on February 1, 1989 of lung cancer in New York.
Sources: Charlotte Streifer Rubinstein, American Women Artists; Askart Archives.
Her highest reported price was $75,000.00.
Artist: Elaine de Kooning (American, 1919 - 1989)
Medium: Original Watercolor on Paper.
Title: "Horse- East Hampton"
Size: 9 by 11 7/8 inches (22.9 by 30.2 cm) (sheet) Framed (under acrylic) 16 by 19 Inches
Signed lower right: E de K
Condition: There do not appear to be any major visible condition issues. Not examined out of the frame. Framed under acrylic.