Willem de Kooning
© Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Used by permission.

Reference URL

Willem de Kooning 1986
  • Artist Rooms
The Dutch-born American painter, Willem de Kooning, was, along with Jackson Pollock, the chief representative of the gestural form of Abstract Expressionism. Mapplethorpe portrays him as a benign ‘old-timer’ in his working overalls. As with his portraits of Brice Marden, Roy Lichtenstein and Francesco Clemente, it appears Mapplethorpe has photographed him in front of one of his own paintings.

Glossary Open

Abstract Expressionism

Term applied to a loose grouping of New York-based artists in the mid-20th century including Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko. Internal feelings were expressed by the physical action of producing the art works.

Gestural Painting

Gestural painting reflects the physical movement that it took to make each mark.

Abstract Expressionism , Gestural Painting


  • Acc. No. AR00148
  • Medium Photograph, gelatine silver print on paper
  • Size 47.60 x 47.10 cm (framed: 61.00 x 50.80 cm)
  • Credit ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008