Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

The Glazier

Artist:
Willem de Kooning (American (born The Netherlands), Rotterdam 1904–1997 East Hampton, New York)
Date:
1940
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
54 x 44 in. (137.2 x 111.8 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
From the Collection of Thomas B. Hess, Gift of the heirs of Thomas B. Hess, 1984
Accession Number:
1984.613.1
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Not on view
In his fascination with landscape and figurative subjects, Willem de Kooning always veered away from mainstream Abstract Expressionism, a movement in which he was nevertheless a leader. The Glazier belongs to a series of paintings of men created in the late 1930s and early 1940s. The artist said that his palette of somber earth tones was inspired by the Boscoreale frescoes that he had often come to see at the Museum.
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas B. Hess, New York (by 1957–her d. 1974); Thomas B. Hess, New York (1974–d. 1978); his heirs, New York (1978–84; their gift to MMA)

New York. World House Galleries. "The Struggle for New Form," January 22–February 23, 1957, no. 19 (dated ca. 1938, lent by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas B. Hess).

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. "Willem de Kooning," September 19–November 17, 1968, no. 7 (as "Glazier," ca. 1940, lent by a private collection).

London. Tate Gallery. "Willem de Kooning," December 5, 1968–January 26, 1969, no. 11 (as "Glazier," ca. 1940, lent by a private collection).

Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Willem de Kooning," March 6–April 27, 1969, no. 11.

Art Institute of Chicago. "Willem de Kooning," May 17–July 6, 1969, no. 11.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Willem de Kooning," July 29–September 14, 1969, no. 11.

New York. Whitney Museum of American Art. "Willem de Kooning: Drawings, Paintings, Sculpture," December 15, 1983–February 26, 1984, no. 143 (as "Glazier," ca. 1940, lent by a private collection).

Berlin. Akademie der Künste. "Willem de Kooning: Drawings, Paintings, Sculpture," March 11–April 29, 1984, no. 143.

Frankfurt. Städtische Galerie im Städel. "Willem de Kooning," May 15–June 11, 1984, unnumbered cat. (p. 34; dated ca. 1940, 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. 58; as "Glazier, ca. 1940, 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. 63).

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. Salander-O'Reilly Galleries, Inc. "Willem de Kooning: An Exhibition of Paintings," September 4–October 15, 1990, no. 1 (as "Glazier," ca. 1940).

Madrid. Fundación "La Caixa". "Willem de Kooning," December 20, 2001–March 25, 2002, unnumbered cat. (p. 93).

Kunstforum Wien. "Willem de Kooning," January 13–March 28, 2005, no. 3.

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

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Philippe de Montebello Years: Curators Celebrate Three Decades of Acquisitions," October 24, 2008–February 1, 2009, online catalogue.

Thomas B. Hess. Willem de Kooning. New York, 1959, p. 19, colorpl. 32, calls it "Glazier," ca. 1940, and locates it in a private collection, New York.

Harold Rosenberg. "The Art Galleries: 'Painting Is a Way of Living'." New Yorker (February 16, 1963), p. 131, calls it "Glazier"; states that this painting "combine[s] classical modelling with Cubist anatomical dislocation".

Thomas B. Hess. Willem de Kooning. Exh. cat., Tate Gallery, London. New York, 1968, pp. 20–21, 160, no. 11, ill. p. 34, states that this painting "is the result of hundreds of studies on how to paint a shoulder".

Andrew Forge. "De Kooning's 'Women'." Studio International 176 (December 1968), pp. 246, 248, suggests that this painting is a self–portrait.

Gabriella Drudi. Willem de Kooning. Milan, 1972, pp. 19, 32, fig. 13, calls it "Glazier".

Thomas B. Hess. Willem de Kooning: Drawings. Greenwich, Conn., 1972, p. 22, notes that de Kooning used a mannequin "dressed in a jacket and pants with its clothes carefully rumpled" as a model for this picture.

Harold Rosenberg. "Interview with Willem de Kooning." Artnews 71 (September 1972), p. 57, quotes the artist's statement that this painting "was influenced by Pompeian murals" that he and Arshile Gorky often saw together.

Harold Rosenberg. De Kooning. New York, [1974], pp. 8, 14, 17, 49, colorpl. 22, calls it "Glazier" and dates it about 1940; describes this and de Kooning's other early paintings of men as "vaguely 'proletarian,' aristocratic, and hermaphroditic...near self–portraits executed as recondite experiments in perspective"; reprints Ref. Rosenberg 1972.

Sally Yard. "Willem de Kooning's Men." Arts Magazine 56 (December 1981), pp. 137, 139, 143, ill. p. 136, calls it "Glazier" and dates it ca. 1940; notes the poor rendering of the figure's shoulder, relating that de Kooning's difficulty depicting shoulders prompted his friend, Edwin Denby, to write the poem "The Shoulder"; identifies the Pompeiian murals that de Kooning cited as influential to this work [Ref. Rosenberg 1972] as in the MMA collection; adds that this picture can also be considered "a paraphrase" of Ingres' "Madame Jacques–Louis Leblanc" (1823; MMA 19.77.2).

Harry F. Gaugh. Willem de Kooning. New York, 1983, p. 14, fig. 11 (color), calls it "Glazier" and dates it ca. 1940; calls de Kooning's portrayal of men in pictures such as this one "structurally analytical yet psychologically elusive".

Jörn Merkert in Willem de Kooning: Drawings, Paintings, Sculpture. Exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Munich, 1983, p. 117, no. 143, fig. 1 (detail), ill. p. 142 (color), dicusses the decanter as an example of the artist's use of an abstracted real object that "'stands for' something".

Lisa M. Messinger in "Twentieth Century Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1984–1985. New York, 1985, p. 56, ill., identifies the Pompeiian murals that influenced this picture as from Boscoreale (MMA 03.14.1–.12).

Eugene Victor Thaw. "The Abstract Expressionists." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 44 (Winter 1986–87), p. 21, fig. 16 (color).

Sally Yard. Willem de Kooning: The First Twenty–Six Years in New York. PhD diss., Princeton University. New York, 1986, pp. 67, 69–72, 92–93, 135, 159, 172, fig. 77, calls it "Glazier" and dates it ca. 1940; discusses the artist's struggle to depict the figure's foreshortened thighs and notes how he used creases and wrinkles in the trousers to render three–dimensionality; states that this painting is connected with "Seated Man" (1939, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.).

Jenny Harper in 20th Century Masters from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Exh. cat., Australian National Gallery. Canberra, 1986, p. 63, ill. (color).

Lynne Catherine Cooke. "Willem de Kooning: 'A Slipping Glimpser'." PhD diss., Courtauld Institute, 1988, p. 491 n. 20.

Diane Waldman. Willem de Kooning. New York, 1988, pp. 36, 41, 45, colorpl. 25, dates it ca. 1940.

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

Klaus Kertess in Willem de Kooning: An Exhibition of Paintings. Exh. cat., Salander-O'Reilly Galleries, Inc. New York, 1990, unpaginated, no. 1, ill. (color).

Robert Rosenblum in Willem de Kooning: An Exhibition of Paintings. Exh. cat., Salander-O'Reilly Galleries, Inc. New York, 1990, unpaginated.

David Anfam. Abstract Expressionism. New York, 1990, p. 62, calls it "Glazier" and dates it about 1940.

Stephen Polcari. Abstract Expressionism and the Modern Experience. Cambridge, 1991, pp. 269–70, fig. 208, calls it "Glazier" and dates it ca. 1940.

Judith Zilczer. Willem de Kooning from the Hirshhorn Museum Collection. Exh. cat., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution. Washington D.C., 1993, p. 22, fig. 8, dates it ca. 1940.

Marla Prather in Willem de Kooning: Paintings. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, D.C., 1994, p. 79, calls it "Glazier" and dates it about 1940.

Judith L. Wolfe. "The Young Willem de Kooning: Early Life, Training and Work, 1904–1926." PhD diss., City University of New York, 1996, pp. 125, 580, fig. 42, dates it ca. 1940; relates the artist's anecdote of this picture as "inspired by someone he had seen when he had looked into a shop on Third Avenue in New York; he especially liked the fact that the man could be construed as either employee or owner of the business"; suggests that this "comment shows the importance to him of America's promise of freedom from class and economic limitations"; adds that in the same 1981 interview, the artist stated, "I had in mind to call him 'The Glazier' because it doesn't take any social, there's no social comment...".

Catherine Morris. The Essential Willem de Kooning. New York, 1999, pp. 32–33, 35, ill. (color).

Edvard Lieber. Willem de Kooning: Reflections in the Studio. New York, 2000, p. 118 n. 26, calls it "Glazier" and dates it ca. 1940; states that the decanter featured in the painting was still in Elaine de Kooning's possession at the time of her death in 1989.

Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan. De Kooning: An American Master. New York, 2004, pp. 166, 174–75, ill., date it about 1940.

Florian Steininger in Willem de Kooning. Ed. Ingried Brugger and Florian Steininger. Exh. cat., Kunstforum Wien. Vienna, 2005, pp. 47–48, 186, no. 3, ill. p. 51 (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. 91, 94, 103, 109, 118 n. 15, fig. 3 (color), relates that infrared analysis reveals that the ewer is "a relic of a previous stage of the painting".

Judith Zilczer. A Way of Living: The Art of Willem de Kooning. London, 2014, pp. 36, 127, fig. 50 (color), describes the figure's clothing as a "toga–like garment".



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