Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Two Standing Men

Artist:
Willem de Kooning (American (born The Netherlands), Rotterdam 1904–1997 East Hampton, New York)
Date:
1938
Medium:
Oil and charcoal on canvas
Dimensions:
61 x 45in. (154.9 x 114.3cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
From the Collection of Thomas B. Hess, Purchase, Rogers, Louis V. Bell and Harris Brisbane Dick Funds and Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1984
Accession Number:
1984.612
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Not on view
Inscription: Signed (lower right): de Kooning
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas B. Hess, New York (by 1968–her d. 1974); Thomas B. Hess, New York (1974–d. 1978; to his heirs); his heirs, New York (1978–84; sold to MMA)

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. "Willem de Kooning," September 19–November 17, 1968, no. 4 (as "Two Men Standing," ca. 1938, lent by a private collection).

London. Tate Gallery. "Willem de Kooning," December 5, 1968–January 26, 1969, no. 9 (as "Two Men Standing," ca. 1938, lent by a private collection).

Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Willem de Kooning," March 6–April 27, 1969, no. 9.

Art Institute of Chicago. "Willem de Kooning," May 17–July 6, 1969, no. 9.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Willem de Kooning," July 29–September 14, 1969, no. 9.

New York. Whitney Museum of American Art. "Willem de Kooning: Drawings, Paintings, Sculpture," December 15, 1983–February 26, 1984, no. 138 (as "Two Men Standing," ca. 1938, lent by a private collection).

Berlin. Akademie der Künste. "Willem de Kooning: Drawings, Paintings, Sculpture," March 11–April 29, 1984, no. 138.

Frankfurt. Städtische Galerie im Städel. "Willem de Kooning," May 15–June 11, 1984, unnumbered cat. (p. 33); as "Two Men Standing," ca. 1938, lent by a private collection, U.S.A.).

Paris. Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou. "Willem de Kooning," June 26–September 24, 1984, unnumbered cat. (p. 53; as "Two Men Standint," ca. 1938, lent by a private collection, United States).

Canberra. Australian National Gallery. "20th Century Masters from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," March 1–April 27, 1986, unnumbered cat. (p. 62; as "Two Men Standing").

Brisbane. Queensland Art Gallery. "20th Century Masters from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," May 7–July 1, 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, no catalogue.

National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "Willem de Kooning: Paintings," May 8–September 5, 1994, no. 1 (as "Two Men Standing," ca. 1938).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Willem de Kooning: Paintings," October 11, 1994–January 8, 1995, no. 1.

London. Tate Gallery. "Willem de Kooning: Paintings," February 15–May 7, 1995, no. 1.

Thomas B. Hess. Willem de Kooning. Exh. cat., Tate Gallery, London. New York, 1968, pp. 20–21, 160, no. 9, ill. p. 32, notes the influence of Louis Le Nain in the reverse persepctive suggested by the figures' gazes moving "along the legs of a triangle projecting into the room".

Gabriella Drudi. Willem de Kooning. Milan, 1972, p. 32, fig. 8, calls it "Two Men Standing" and dates it about 1938.

Thomas B. Hess. Willem de Kooning: Drawings. Greenwich, Conn., 1972, pp. 23–25, fig. B, calls it "Two Men Standing," dates it about 1938 and locates it in a private collection; states that it evolved directly from the drawing "Self–Portrait with Imaginary Brother" (1938, private collection, New York).

Harold Rosenberg. De Kooning. New York, [1974], colorpl. 14, calls it "Two Men Standing" and dates it about 1938.

Philip Larson in Philip Larson and Peter Schjeldahl. de Kooning: Drawings/Sculptures. Exh. cat., Walker Art Center. New York, 1974, fig. 5, calls it "Two Men Standing" and dates it about 1938.

Sally Yard. "Willem de Kooning's Men." Arts Magazine 56 (December 1981), pp. 137–39, 142–43, ill. p. 135, calls it "Two Men Standing" and dates it about 1938; identifies this work as the artist's first major figure painting.

Jörn Merkert in Willem de Kooning: Drawings, Paintings, Sculpture. Exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Munich, 1983, pp. 117, 136–37, no. 138, ill. (color).

Eugene Victor Thaw. "The Abstract Expressionists." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 44 (Winter 1986–87), p. 21, fig. 14 (color), calls it "Two Men Standing".

Sally Yard. Willem de Kooning: The First Twenty–Six Years in New York. PhD diss., Princeton University. New York, 1986, pp. 53, 55–60, 62–63, 66, 75, 93, fig. 58, calls it "Two Men Standing" and dates it about 1938; relates it to another de Kooning drawing, "Self–Portrait with Imaginary Brother", (ca. 1938, private collection, New York); identifies the "ghost of an alternative position" for the left figure's right arm as the first instance of a "willful pentimento" that recurs in many of the artist's early works; names this work as the artist's first large, major figure painting which established pictorial concerns that continued throughout his career; notes the right figure's sexual ambiguity due to it wearing both a skirt and knee length trousers; calls the figures "Gorkyesque".

Jenny Harper in 20th Century Masters from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Exh. cat., Australian National Gallery. Canberra, 1986, p. 62, ill. (color).

Diane Waldman. Willem de Kooning. New York, 1988, pp. 33, 35, 38, 41, 45, colorpl. 21, calls it "Two Men Standing"; compares this painting to Arshile Gorky's "The Artist and His Mother" (1926–29, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York).

Philippe Sollers. De Kooning, Vite. Paris, 1988, vol. 1, p. 79, vol. 2, colorpl. 4, calls it "Deux hommes debout".

Hilton Kramer. "Though Exhibiting It Badly, Met Offers a Worthy de Kooning Show." New York Observer (August 28, 1989), p. 19, calls it "Two Standing Men".

Sally Yard. "The Angel and the Demoiselle: Willem de Kooning's 'Black Friday'." Record of the Art Museum, Princeton University 50, no. 2 (1991), pp. 18, 22, calls it "Two Men Standing" and dates it about 1938.

Sally Yard. "The One Wind and The Studio: Willem de Kooning in the Thirties." Picker Art Gallery Journal 3, no. 3 (1991–92), pp. 11–12, calls it "Two Men Standing" and dates it about 1938.

Marla Prather in Willem de Kooning: Paintings. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, D.C., 1994, pp. 77–79, no. 1, ill. p. 86 (color).

David Cateforis. Willem de Kooning. New York, 1994, unpaginated, colorpl. 1, calls it "Two Men Standing" and dates it about 1938.

Judith L. Wolfe. "The Young Willem de Kooning: Early Life, Training and Work, 1904–1926." PhD diss., City University of New York, 1996, pp. 297–98, fig. 118, calls it "Two Men Standing" and dates it about 1938.

Michael Kimmelman. "Willem de Kooning Dies at 92; Reshaped U.S. Art." New York Times (March 20, 1997), ill. p. B14, calls it "Two Men Standing" and dates it ca. 1938.

Contemporary Art from the Collection of Irwin and Bethea Green. Christie's, New York. November 18, 1997, p. 40, under no. 112, fig. 1 (color), calls it "Two Men Standing".

Catherine Morris. The Essential Willem de Kooning. New York, 1999, pp. 30–32, ill. (color), calls it "Two Men Standing".

Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan. De Kooning: An American Master. New York, 2004, pp. 142–43, ill. between pp. 302–3 (color), call it "Two Men Standing" and date it about 1938; describe this painting as "a picture of a man trying to make a man".

Jennifer Field in John Elderfield. De Kooning: A Retrospective. Ed. David Frankel. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art, New York. New York, 2011, p. 118 n. 2.

Judith Zilczer. A Way of Living: The Art of Willem de Kooning. London, 2014, p. 35, 105, fig. 40 (color).



Related Objects

Easter Monday

Artist: Willem de Kooning (American (born The Netherlands), Rotterdam 1904–1997 East Hampton, New York) Date: 1955–56 Medium: Oil and newspaper transfer on canvas Accession: 56.205.2 On view in:Gallery 922

Untitled

Artist: Willem de Kooning (American (born The Netherlands), Rotterdam 1904–1997 East Hampton, New York) Date: ca. 1949 Medium: Oil and enamel on paper Accession: 2006.32.31 On view in:Not on view

Two Women

Artist: Willem de Kooning (American (born The Netherlands), Rotterdam 1904–1997 East Hampton, New York) Date: 1953 Medium: Oil, enamel and charcoal on paper Accession: 2006.32.33 On view in:Not on view

Untitled

Artist: Willem de Kooning (American (born The Netherlands), Rotterdam 1904–1997 East Hampton, New York) Date: ca. 1946 Medium: Oil and charcoal on composition board Accession: 2006.32.32 On view in:Not on view

Revenge

Artist: Willem de Kooning (American (born The Netherlands), Rotterdam 1904–1997 East Hampton, New York) Date: 1960 Medium: Etching, aquatint, black Ink Accession: 67.507 On view in:Not on view