Prints and Drawings
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Full-size image not available for download. Please contact Rights and Reproductions.
Artist: Willem de Kooning, American, born the Netherlands, 1904–1997
Printer: George Miyasaki, American, 1935–2013
Printer: Nathan Oliveira, American, 1928–2010

Waves #1



platemark: 109 × 73 cm (42 15/16 × 28 3/4 in.)
framed: 132.7 × 94.6 × 4.4 cm (52 1/4 × 37 1/4 × 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 the University of California, 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.
Made in United States
Not on view
20th century
Works on Paper - Prints

Purchased from the Hirschl and Adler Galleries, New York, 2001


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

Lisa Hodermarsky and Tiffany Sprague, eds., A Perspicacious Tenure: Suzanne Boorsch at Yale (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2018), 104, ill.

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.