Waves #1 Artist: Willem de Kooning (American, born the Netherlands, 1904–1997)
Printer: George Miyasaki (American, 1935–2013)
Printer: Nathan Oliveira (American, 1928–2010)


Prints and Drawings

Not on view

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.




platemark: 42 15/16 × 28 3/4 in. (109 × 73 cm)
framed: 52 1/4 × 37 1/4 × 1 3/4 in. (132.7 × 94.6 × 4.4 cm)

Credit Line

Katharine Ordway Fund

Accession Number



20th century


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 records is ongoing.



Purchased from the Hirschl and Adler Galleries, New York, 2001
  • Lisa Hodermarsky and Tiffany Sprague, eds., A Perspicacious Tenure: Suzanne Boorsch at Yale (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2018), 104, ill
  • John Elderfield et al., De Kooning: A Retrospective, ed. David Frankel, exh. cat. (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2011), 328, pl. 116
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type



Edition of approximately 9


In graphite, LR: de Kooning '60

Technical metadata and APIs


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