Elaine de Kooning: Portraits

Elaine de Kooning self-portrait, courtesy Elaine de Kooning Trust

March 13, 2015 – January 10, 2016
National Portrait Gallery
8th and G Streets, NW
Washington, DC
2nd Floor, West

Elaine de Kooning’s gestural portraits of friends and family were much admired during her lifetime, and included many well-known Americans. Sitters include poets John Ashbery, Allen Ginsberg and Frank O’Hara, critic Harold Rosenberg, President John F. Kennedy, de Kooning’s husband—painter Willem de Kooning—and painters Robert De Niro, Sr. and Fairfield Porter, who commented that her images of men “are both sympathetic and frighteningly acute.”

In addition to featuring de Kooning’s paintings and drawings, the Portrait Gallery’s exhibition will include images of de Kooning in her studio and footage from several short films, including Betty Jean Thiebaud’s 1976 film, Elaine de Kooning Paints a Portrait.

Related publication: The exhibition is accompanied by a 144-page book published by Delmonico Books/Prestel; it will be available in the museum store and online.