Willem de Kooning

American, born Netherlands, 1904-1997

Gotham News

© Willem de Kooning Revocable Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

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© Willem de Kooning Revocable Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Willem de Kooning Revocable Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Gotham News, 1955

Artwork Details

Collection Highlight

Materials

oil, enamel, charcoal, and newspaper transfer on canvas

Measurements

support: 69 x 79 inches (175.26 x 200.66 cm); framed: 71 1/2 x 82 x 3 inches (181.61 x 208.28 x 7.62 cm)

Collection Buffalo AKG Art Museum

Credit

Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1955

Accession ID

K1955:6

While Willem de Kooning's paintings often look as though the artist worked very quickly, the opposite is in fact true. Although he did create his images spontaneously, without preparatory drawings, he placed each mark with careful consideration. The next day he often reworked what he had previously done. Since wet paint is much easier to manipulate, de Kooning often covered the surface at night with newspaper to slow down the drying process. Occasionally the newsprint would transfer to the work’s surface; when this happened, he either painted over it or decided he liked the effect and left it. Gotham News is in some ways an expression of life in New York, where de Kooning was living at the time: crowded, confusing, and violent to some people, while exciting, colorful, and energetic to others. And, for many, this city is a mixture of both these circles of sentiment. "Gotham" is the New York–equivalent setting of the Batman comics, and "News" undoubtedly refers to the newsprint seen on the lower left and top center of the canvas.

Abstract Expressionism