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Sale 2258 Lot 508
WILLEM DE KOONING
Color lithograph, 1984. 450x590 mm; 17 5/8x23 1/4 inches (sheet), full margins. Signed in black crayon and numbered 32/250 in pencil, lower margin. Published by Brand X Editions to benefit the Children's Museum, Los Angeles. A very good impression with strong colors.
De Kooning had difficulty making color lithographs. Despite his success with Irwin Hollander in 1970-71 with black and white lithographs, he failed in his attempts at color lithography there in 1970. In an interview, De Kooning explained his views on the two forms of lithography, which speaks to the Abstract Expressionist creeds of gesture and spontaneity, "I did them in black and white because you do it and it's there. I couldn't work with different colors at different times. I can only work with what's there. If it's not there, I can't experience it. Besides, sometimes there's more light in black and white." According to master printer Kenneth Tyler (who had tried, unsuccessfully, to make color lithographs with Mark Rothko in 1969), the Abstract Expressionists "found it too frustrating to try to see a multi-colored reality one layer at a time. They had to see all the color all at once or they could not 'see' it at all," Graham, p. 14.
This likely explains the relative scarcity of color prints by De Kooning and their production towards the very end of his career, based on paintings he had already created.
Estimate $4,000 - 6,000