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Prints, Drawings, and Photographs
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Artist: Willem de Kooning, American, born the Netherlands, 1904–1997

Waves 1



Plate: 109 x 73 cm (42 15/16 x 28 3/4 in.), framed: 132.7 x 94.6 x 4.5 cm (52 1/4 x 37 1/4 x 1 3/4 in.)
Katharine Ordway Fund
In 1960, on a visit to the Bay Area, Willem de Kooning, in completely impromptu and unpremeditated circumstances, made two huge lithographs, which in retrospect can be seen as harbingers of the so-called American print renaissance that transformed the history of printmaking in this country. De Kooning had never made a lithograph, but at the print studios of UCLA Berkeley, the artist was left alone with two lithographic stones, each nearly four feet high. Standing over the stones, using a mop as his drawing implement, in less than an hour de Kooning created two explosive images–this and another, called Waves II–that embody not just the artist’s forceful gestures of that afternoon but also the immediacy and spontaneity that epitomize Abstract Expressionism. Each lithograph was printed in fewer than ten impressions.
20th century
Works on Paper - Prints
On view

John Elderfield et al., De Kooning: A Retrospective, ed. David Frankel, exh. cat. (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2011), 328, pl. 116.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.

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