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Untitled by Willem de Kooning was made in the aftermath of years and years of painting exclusively women.

De Kooning’s most famous works are his rather intense depictions of women. They aren’t the most flattering portrayals of the opposite sex and if any particular woman was the muse for these works, she would probably have had a good, long panic attack at seeing her depiction. The only thing worse than finding out you’re ugly via a realistic portrait, is finding out you feel ugly via an Abstract Expressionist portrait. But I digress.

This painting is de Kooning’s attempt at the exact opposite of a depiction of the female form. And he succeeds...almost. When asked about this new approach to art making, de Kooning replied, “The pictures done since the Women, they’re emotions, most of them. Most of them are landscapes and highways and sensations of that, outside the city, or coming from it.” Though this is an attempt at a landscape (or whatever de Kooning was trying to say it was), “the subject relates, however indirectly, to the artist’s obsession with the image of woman, whose contours he has sublimated in abstract natural forms; it is present here in the flesh tones and the lithe curves playing against an implied grid.” This assertion may seem like a little bit of a stretch, but it makes sense that de Kooning would be able to quit painting women cold turkey. It had been his entire artistic career and the reason why he had made it in the art world. Untitled is basically just a melting down of his paintings of women until viewers couldn’t tell if they were looking at a woman or a freeway.



  1. "Willem De Kooning Biography, Art, And Analysis Of Works." The Art Story. Web. 21 Feb. 2018.
  2. "Willem de Kooning, Untitled." Guggenheim. Web. 20 Feb. 2018.
  3. "Willem De Kooning. Woman I. 1950–52 | Moma." The Museum of Modern Art. Web. 21 Feb. 2018.