Provenance

Maxfield Franz Vogel, New York, close friend of the artist

Gladys Vogel, his widow, from 1991

Louise Vogel, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, their daughter

Private collection, New York, 2006

Exhibitions

Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, Surrealism: Then and Now”, 2006

Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, New York; Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas; and Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Massachusetts, American Vanguards: Graham, Davis, Gorky, de Kooning and Their Circle, 1927-1942,  2012, Cat. by William Agee, Irving Sandler and Karen Wilkin, illus.

 

De Kooning was among the artists, including John Graham, Stuart Davis, Arshile Gorky, Jackson Pollock and David Smith who drastically transformed conceptions of the very nature of paintings and sculptures in the early years of the 20th Century, leading up to the advent of Abstract Expressionism in the late 1940s.  They were in the vanguard of American modernism, following progressive developments in Europe, especially Cubism; in their inventive compositions, traditional kinds of representational realism would give way to surrealism and abstraction.  De Kooning had been nurtured in highly refined figurative techniques in which he excelled until in the mid-1920s he forged a unique style; recognizable objects, like eggs and a potato masher, as in this striking still life, would inhabit abstract spaces as pictorial devices unrelated to any practical function, much in the manner of Duchamp’s ready-mades.

 

Willem de Kooning (1904-1997)
Untitled (Still Life with Eggs and Potato Masher), 1928-29

 Oil and sand on canvas
18 x 24 in., 45.7 x 61cm