Seated Woman (1969) Willem de Kooning

Jannes Linders
About the artwork

Seated Woman (1969) is one of the three images of Willem de Kooning that the city is rich with. The three monumental sculptures stand together on an elevation, near the large fountain on Hofplein. Seated Woman 1984 was placed at Weena in April on the occasion of the 80th birthday of the now world-famous born and raised Rotterdammer. As the name says, is Seated Woman a highly abstracted representation of a woman. The model for the image was created in 1970, but this version, the third cast of the model, was made in 1980. The statue was purchased as a tribute from Rotterdam to this artist. It was placed on the initiative of the then director of Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Mr. Wim Beeren. He found the Boijmans van Beuningen Foundation, a number of sponsors and the municipality prepared to donate money to purchase this work of art. Reportedly, it cost about one million guilders, a relatively small amount for a work of this size and by an artist who was world famous from his lifetime. Willem de Kooning, born in Rotterdam, was one of the representatives of American 'abstract expressionism' and has been painting abstract paintings since the 1950s, with monumental and expressively painted women. In addition to the landscape, women are his central theme. De Kooning did not idealize his women, but the expressive expressiveness is paramount. To be Seated Woman even has an extra pair of limbs to enhance this expression. De Kooning only started making sculpture at a later age. He considered his sculptures, which he first modeled, as painting in three dimensions. He saw the clay as thick paint. His erratic shapes appear to arise in an energetic outburst. For more information: Sculpture International Rotterdam

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About the artist

Originally from Rotterdam artist Willem de Kooning (Rotterdam, 1904 - Springs, New York, 1997) became one of the most famous representatives of the then new Abstract Expressionism in America in the 1950s. In those years he initially made large abstract paintings with expressive paint gestures. At the end of the sixties he started making sculptures. He made approximately 25 of these large bronze female figures, three of which are in Rotterdam. After his death, the Rotterdam art academy was renamed Willem de Kooning Academy in 1998.

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