Skip Navigation


Willem de Kooning

Contemporary Art

In this dynamic work, part of Willem de Kooning’s Woman series, the image is neither fully abstract nor completely representational. Human body parts, though discernible, are obscured by rich and frenzied painterly lines. Facial features are the artist’s only concession to an identifiable figure. The masklike face, flattened forms, and almond-shaped eyes show the influence of Pablo Picasso, whose work fascinated de Kooning from an early age.

Born in the Netherlands, de Kooning came to the United States in 1926 in pursuit of the American dream as a stowaway aboard a British freighter.
MEDIUM Oil on paper board
DATES 1953–1954
DIMENSIONS 35 3/4 × 24 3/8 in. (90.8 × 61.9 cm) frame: 43 5/16 × 32 × 2 1/4 in. (110 × 81.3 × 5.7 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Signed lower left: "de Kooning"
COLLECTIONS Contemporary Art
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alastair B. Martin, the Guennol Collection
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Willem de Kooning (American, born Holland, 1904–1997). Woman, 1953–1954. Oil on paper board, 35 3/4 × 24 3/8 in. (90.8 × 61.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alastair B. Martin, the Guennol Collection, 57.124. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 57.124_reference_PS2.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 57.124_reference_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
RIGHTS STATEMENT © artist or artist's estate
Copyright for this work may be controlled by the artist, the artist's estate, or other rights holders. A more detailed analysis of its rights history may, however, place it in the public domain. The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act. For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.