Elaine de Kooning (1918 – 1989), the wife of Willem de Kooning, was a prolific and versatile painter, writer, and teacher.  Though she was closely associated with the New York School and Abstract Expressionism, Elaine de Kooning eschewed developing a singular style and instead painted in a range of modes from realism to abstraction.  “Style is something I’ve always tried to avoid. I’m more interested in character,” she said.  The subjects in her work also varied, including mythology, landscapes, and portraiture; one of her later bodies of work was inspired by the cave paintings in Lascaux.  She studied widely with different artists including Milton Resnick, Stuart Davis, and Raphael Soyer.  De Kooning also spent time at Black Mountain College, where she designed a stage set for Merce Cunningham and John Cage.


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