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