Woman I 1951
Woman I is a painting by abstract expressionist painter Willem de Kooning. Woman III is one of a series of six paintings by de Kooning done between 1951 and 1953 in which the central theme was a woman. It measures 68 by 48 1⁄2 inches (1.7 by 1.23 m) and was completed in 1953.
In the case of Willem de Koenig’s Woman I, the visible brush strokes and thickly applied pigment are typical of the “Action Painting” style of Abstract Expressionism also associated with Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline. Looking at Woman I, we can easily imagine de Kooning at work, using strong slashing gestures, adding gobs of paint to create heavily built-up surfaces that could be physically worked and reworked with his brush and palette knife. De Koenig’s central image is clearly recognizable, reflecting the tradition of the female nude throughout art history
In November 2006, the painting was sold by Geffen to billionaire Steven A. Cohen for $137.5 million, making it the third most expensive painting ever sold.