January 26–April 29, 1997

The paintings made during the 1980s by American artist Willem de Kooning constitute a major and largely unknown chapter in a career that spanned more than half a century. With the exception of a relatively small number of works that were shown in museums and galleries during the past decade, few of these paintings have been seen by the general or even specialized art public. This exhibition contains approximately forty works made between 1981 and 1987, drawn from public and private collections and from the artist's own holdings. Variously spare, animated, and richly hued, these paintings demonstrate a striking formal and emotional range. Presented together for the first time, they are the crowning achievement of one of the greatest modern painters.

The exhibition was organized by Gary Garrels, Elise S. Haas Chief Curator and Curator of Painting and Sculpture, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, in association with the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and coordinated for The Museum of Modern Art by Robert Storr, Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture. The New York showing is made possible by Banana Republic.


The fully illustrated, 144–page catalogue of the exhibition is the first scholarly publication on de Kooning's last decade of work. Copublished by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, the catalogue contains essays by Gary Garrels and Robert Storr. Clothbound, $50.00, and paperbound, $29.95, are available at The MoMA Book Store.

Special Events

Panel discussions and lectures, for both Museum members and the general public, are planned in conjunction with the exhibition.


©1997 The Museum of Modern Art, New York