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2024 Summer Fine Art & Antiques (Day 1)

Sat, Jul 6, 2024 09:00AM EDT
Lot 364

Elaine de Kooning W/C Italian Landscape, 1981

Estimate: $8,000 - $10,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$3,000 $200
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000

Elaine Fried de Kooning (New York, 1919-1989) Abstract Expressionist watercolor painting on Fabriano paper depicting cliffs or a hillside covered in foliage rendered in shades of green and set beneath a blue sky. Likely created during the artist's trip to Italy in 1981. Signed "E de K" and dated "10/6/81" in pen, lower right. With Fabriano blindstamp, upper right. Additionally signed "Elaine de Kooning" and inscribed with address in pen to back of frame. Floated under glass in a wood frame with cream mat. Sheet: 18 13/16" H x 13 5/16" W. Frame: 26 1/16" H x 20 7/8" W. Provenance: The Estate of Sarah Gaunt, Signal Mountain, TN. Sarah Gaunt was a studio assistant to Willem de Kooning. 

Artist biography: Elaine de Kooning studied art at the American Artists School and Leonardo da Vinci Art School in New York, and it was as an art student that she met fellow artist Willem de Kooning, whom she eventually married.  In the spring of 1948, the de Koonings were struggling to make ends meet. When an invitation came from Josef Albers to teach at his experimental program near Asheville, North Carolina, they jumped at the chance. The couple thrived at Black Mountain College, especially Elaine who took classes with Albers, Buckminster Fuller, and Merce Cunningham. She became an art writer for the influential magazine Art News in 1948. In her own work, de Kooning vacillated between complete abstraction and representational imagery. A respected portrait painter, she was at work on a commission of her most famous subject, President John F. Kennedy, at the time of his assassination in 1963. Although frequently overshadowed by her husband and their tumultuous relationship, she successfully gained recognition for herself. Her 1954 one-artist exhibition at the Stable Gallery was the first of over fifty solo and group exhibitions in the United States. She held numerous teaching positions; from 1957 to 1962 she was at the University of New Mexico, and later taught at the University of Georgia (as the Lamar Dodd Visiting Professor of Art), Carnegie Mellon Institute, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale University graduate school. Elaine de Kooning’s work is represented in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Portrait Gallery, Guggenheim Museum, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts. (Source: The Johnson Collection). 

PROVENANCE: The Estate of Sarah Gaunt, Signal Mountain, TN. Sarah Gaunt was a studio assistant to Willem de Kooning. 


Very good condition, with fresh colors. Sheet is adhered to backing. Frame with white paint to upper edge, not visible frontally, 7/8" L.

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The Estate of Sarah Gaunt, Signal Mountain, TN. Sarah Gaunt was a studio assistant to Willem de Kooning.