Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Acrobat

Artist:
Willem de Kooning (American (born The Netherlands), Rotterdam 1904–1997 East Hampton, New York)
Date:
1942
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
37 × 26 in. (94 × 66 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of Thomas B. Hess, in memory of Audrey Stern Hess, 1977
Accession Number:
1977.474
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Not on view
Inscription: Signed (lower right): de Kooning
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas B. Hess, New York (by 1960–her d. 1974); Thomas B. Hess, New York (1974–77; his gift to MMA)

Albany. New York State Senate. "Twelve Americans from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 5–June 20, 1980, unnumbered cat. (p. 15; as "Acrobat, ca. 1942").

Galerie des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux. "Profil du Metropolitan Museum of Art de New York: de Ramsès à Picasso," May 15–September 1, 1981, no. 221.

New York. Whitney Museum of American Art. "Willem de Kooning: Drawings, Paintings, Sculpture," December 15, 1983–February 26, 1984, no. 148 (as "Acrobat," ca. 1942).

Berlin. Akademie der Künste. "Willem de Kooning: Drawings, Paintings, Sculpture," March 11–April 29, 1984, no. 148.

Paris. Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou. "Willem de Kooning," June 26–September 24, 1984, not in catalogue.

Jacksonville, Fla. Jacksonville Art Museum. "The Figure in 20th Century American Art: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 9–April 21, 1985, unnumbered cat. (p. 125).

Oklahoma City. Oklahoma Museum of Art. "The Figure in 20th Century American Art: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 5–June 30, 1985, unnumbered cat.

New York. National Academy of Design. "The Figure in 20th Century American Art: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," July 16–September 1, 1985, unnumbered cat.

Evanston, Ill. Terra Museum of American Art. "The Figure in 20th Century American Art: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 15–November 10, 1985, unnumbered cat.

Little Rock. Arkansas Arts Center. "The Figure in 20th Century American Art: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," November 12, 1985–January 19, 1986, unnumbered cat.

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. "The Figure in 20th Century American Art: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 9–March 30, 1986, unnumbered cat.

St. Paul. Minnesota Museum of Art. "The Figure in 20th Century American Art: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 20–June 8, 1986, unnumbered cat.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Willem de Kooning: The Early Years," March 14–August 14, 1989, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "14 Americans," July 16, 1990–January 2, 1991, unnum. checklist.

Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. "New York: A Magnet for Artists," April 15–June 12, 1994, no. 112 (dated ca. 1942).

Dayton, Ohio. University Art Galleries, Wright State University. "Figuration, Abstraction: Fairfield Porter, Willem de Kooning," September 17–October 22, 1995, no. 34 (dated ca. 1942).

Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo. "Founders and Heirs of the New York School," January 25–March 16, 1997, no. 24.

Sendai. Miyagi Museum of Art. "Founders and Heirs of the New York School," April 5–May 25, 1997, no. 24.

Museum of Modern Art, Ibaraki. "Founders and Heirs of the New York School," June 28–August 3, 1997, no. 24.

Kunstforum Wien. "Willem de Kooning," January 13–March 28, 2005, no. 5.

Kunsthal Rotterdam. "Willem de Kooning," April 17–July 3, 2005, no. 5.

Harriet Janis and Rudi Blesh. De Kooning. New York, 1960, p. 16, no. 3, call it "Acrobat," date it ca. 1936, and locate it in the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas B. Hess.

Thomas B. Hess. Willem de Kooning: Drawings. Greenwich, Conn., 1972, p. 23.

Harold Rosenberg. De Kooning. New York, [1974], p. 8, pl. 24, calls it "Acrobat" and dates it about 1942.

Lowery S. Sims in "Twentieth Century Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1975–1979. New York, 1979, p. 73, ill.

Henry Geldzahler. Twelve Americans from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., New York State Senate, Albany. New York, 1980, pp. 14–15, ill.

Sally Yard. "Willem de Kooning's Men." Arts Magazine 56 (December 1981), pp. 137, 139–41, 143, ill., calls it "Acrobat" and dates it ca. 1942; erroneously locates it with the estate of Thomas B. Hess.

William S. Lieberman in Profil du Metropolitan Museum of Art de New York: de Ramsès à Picasso. Exh. cat., Galerie des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux. Bordeaux, 1981, pp. 170–71, no. 221, ill., calls it "Acrobate" and dates it ca. 1942.

Lowery S. Sims in Profil du Metropolitan Museum of Art de New York: de Ramsès à Picasso. Exh. cat., Galerie des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux. Bordeaux, 1981, p. 167.

Jörn Merkert in Willem de Kooning: Drawings, Paintings, Sculpture. Exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Munich, 1983, p. 117, no. 148, ill. p. 147 (color).

Lowery Stokes Sims. The Figure in 20th Century American Art: Selections from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., Jacksonville Art Museum. New York, 1984, pp. 115, 124–25, ill.

Sally Yard. Willem de Kooning: The First Twenty–Six Years in New York. PhD diss., Princeton University. New York, 1986, pp. 115–18, fig. 129, calls it "Acrobat" and dates it circa 1942; relates that although influenced by Picasso's similar subjects, the artist himself noted that this painting was inspired by his friendships with acrobats, clowns, and vaudevill performers.

Hilton Kramer. "Though Exhibiting It Badly, Met Offers a Worthy de Kooning Show." New York Observer (August 28, 1989), p. 19, dates it about 1942.

Marla Prather in Willem de Kooning: Paintings. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, D.C., 1994, p. 84 n. 27, dates it about 1942.

Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan. De Kooning: An American Master. New York, 2004, p. 175, call it "Acrobat"; describe the figure as "breaking apart" and state that de Kooning called the type of space in this composition a "no–environment".

Florian Steininger in Willem de Kooning. Ed. Ingried Brugger and Florian Steininger. Exh. cat., Kunstforum Wien. Vienna, 2005, p. 48, 57, 186, no. 5, ill. p. 52 (color).

Jennifer Field in John Elderfield. De Kooning: A Retrospective. Ed. David Frankel. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art, New York. New York, 2011, pp. 92, 118 n. 17, fig. 6 (color).

Judith Zilczer. A Way of Living: The Art of Willem de Kooning. London, 2014, p. 48, fig. 58 (color).



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