Elaine de Kooning

(1918-1989)

[Elaine] de Kooning, who was married to the artist Willem de Kooning, was a highly versatile painter whose work ranged from realism to abstraction but was grounded in the gestural Abstract Expressionism of the New York School. Her landscapes, portraits and studies of athletes in action were notable for their verve and freshness.

''I always say I'm an escape artist,'' she told the critic Rose Slivka when asked to characterize her style. ''Style is something I've always tried to avoid. I'm more interested in character. Character comes out of the work. Style is applied or imposed on it.' (Obituary by Grace Glueck, The New York Times, Published: February 02, 1989.)