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One of America's greatest painters, Willem de Kooning is a masterful colourist whose huge canvases are charged with enormous energy. The publication of this beautiful book, which presents eighty of de Kooning's finest paintings and painted works on paper from the early 1940s to the 1980s, coincides with the artist's ninetieth birthday in the spring of 1994. Organized thematically and chronologically, the book focuses on de Kooning's most noteworthy and original painted achievements: portraits from the early 1940s; black-and-white abstractions from 1945 to 1949 that established de Kooning as a leader of the abstract expressionist movement; monumental cityscape paintings from 1949 and 1950; key selections from the notorious Woman series of 1945 to 1954; highway and pastoral landscape abstractions from 1954 to 1960; lush figures in landscapes from 1966 to 1973; landscapes from the 1970s; and later expressive and calligraphic tableaux. Drawing on new archival sources, essays by David Sylvester, Richard Shiff, and Marla Prather reassess de Kooning's critical status, examine his complex and evocative painting techniques, place him in the context of other artists and art movements of his era, and discuss the fundamental impact of his art on subsequent generations. The book serves as the catalogue for a major retrospective of de Kooning's work that will be on exhibit at the National Gallery of Art in Washington from 8 May 1994 to 5 September 1994, the Metropolitan Museum in New York from 6 October 1994 to 8 January 1995, and the Tate Gallery in London from 15 February 1995 to 7 May 1995.