Object Image

Elaine de Kooning 1918–1989

Elaine de Kooning was best known for her expressive, gestural portraits and for her ability to capture the individuality of her subject’s entire body. For her, “the pose is the person.” She often did multiple drawings in graphite or charcoal while creating paintings of the same subject.

Here, in a drawing inscribed with the date, March 18, 1968 (just six days after her fiftieth birthday), de Kooning created a severe and introspective portrait of herself in charcoal. Although she delineated the slight effects of age, her features and hair approximate her appearance as captured in painted self-portraits from more than twenty years before. At this time, still separated from her husband, Willem d...

Charcoal on paper

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