WILLEM DE KOONING
According to Gary Garrels in The late paintings, note 24 on page 36, "The Willem de Kooning
Conservatorship office has assembled an archive and record of De Kooning's work
that traces as fully as possible his production year by year". For the period 1978-1990 the numbers are
given in The late paintings. Garrels mentions that between 1978-1980 De Kooning painted little, less than a dozen per year (page 25).
In the same book Robert Storr presents the numbers for the years 1980-1990 (pages 42 and 51-52).
From these numbers the following table can be derived:
The reproduced column contains the amounts of reproduced paintings in the
books and catalogues mentioned in the codes list (the numbers for 1987 are as such inconsistent of course, it means
that there are differences in dating). This list doesn't include all
publications, but the major part that has been regulary available. All publications
that are available in the
library collection of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Holland, are included,
as well as the university collections in Holland. The possibility of on line ordering of second hand books as at
for instance Alibris or the galleries themselves, has extended this site significantly.
A few books aren't included in the list not because they are less, but
because their reproductions
completely overlap with earlier publications. Most issues tend to stay on safe grounds, reproducing the same
paintings over and over again.
It leads to 293 paintings being reproduced out of 363 produced,
which is 80 % (various paintings from the seventies are only roughly dated though, so
it remains a bit cloudy). When you look at the coverage of numbered series in other
years, like the Untitled paintings from 1975-1977 and the Woman series,
it can be concluded that in those years the coverage of De Kooning's
oeuvre is possibly even better. There are some instances however of evident gaps in the
numbered paintings. These concern for instance the East Hampton series of 1968 (seven out of at least twenty-seven).
The publication of works from 1985 is poor (30 paintings aren't reproduced yet) and of course there are the two years 1989-1990, that because of
De Kooning's Alzheimer disease in that period, haven't been published except for one
painting in progress.
I'm presuming here that all the titles are correct.
Errors and inconsistencies frequently happen in catalogues, which cause two different paintings being listed as
Woman in a landscape III in 1968 in KC; two different paintings are listed as no. IV in AR and CP,
so I followed the number that gets confirmed in other catalogues. Apart from that, De Kooning himself sometimes retitled his
paintings and didn't keep a good record of the dates of his work. Especially many of the drawings
can only be roughly dated.
The total number of paintings listed in this site is 1121. Extrapolation of the
percentage from above would lead to a total output of about 1400 works, but that's
just guessing. For the drawings the listed
amount is 1063. I have no clue about the magnitude of De Kooning's drawn oeuvre. A title as Woman XX
from 1958 suggests, combined with the free sketch like character of much of his later drawings,
that he could draw rapidly and prolifically. And also that far from all has been reproduced.
His sculpture is completely published and consists of
24 original pieces.