Like Matisse, de Kooning wanted to leave the traces of earlier ideas on his pictures, and since he was constantly revising his work, there was always much to see. As often as not, de Kooning would scrape the day’s work off at the end of a session, starting anew the next day until he was sufficiently satisfied. The subject of this work is the process of painting, though both landscape forms and a reclining female figure can be made out.
Inscription: Signed (lower left): de Kooning
[Charles Egan Gallery, New York; sold to Lazar]; Albert Lazar, Pittsburgh (sold ca. 1955 to Holland-Goldowsky); [Holland-Goldowsky Gallery, Chicago, ca. 1955–ca. 1959/60; sold ca. 1959/60 to Newman]; Muriel Kallis Newman, Chicago (ca. 1959/60–2006; her gift to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "An American Choice: The Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Collection," May 21–September 27, 1981, unnumbered cat. (p. 53).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Abstract Expressionism and Other Modern Works: The Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 17, 2007–February 3, 2008, extended to March 2, 2008, no. 20.
Richard Shiff inAbstract Expressionism and Other Modern Works: The Muriel Kallis Steinberg Newman Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ed. Gary Tinterow, Lisa Mintz Messinger, and Nan Rosenthal. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 163–65, no. 20, ill. (color).