Willem de Kooning - Woman III 1953

Willem de Kooning  - Woman III 1953

Woman III 1953
172x123cm oil/canvas
Sold for: USD 137.5 million
Auction house: Private sale via Larry Gagosian
Sale date: November 18, 2006
Seller: David Geffen
Buyer: Steven A. Cohen

The female figure was a theme to which de Kooning returned repeatedly. He began painting women regularly in the early 1940s and did so again later in that decade and more seriously in the 1950s. Often they are depicted in an almost graffitilike style, with gigantic, vacuous eyes, massive breasts, toothy smiles and clawlike hands set against colorful layers of paint.
“Woman III,” measuring 68 by 48½ inches, is one of six “Woman” paintings he numbered. The other five are all in world-class museums, all but one in the United States.