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Press Release

New York, December, 2001: Mitchell-Innes & Nash is pleased to announce their exhibition The Artist’s Hand: Willem de Kooning Drawings, 1937 to 1954. This historical survey of early drawings by Abstract Expressionist artist Willem de Kooning will be on view at the Madison Avenue gallery from January 17 through March 2, 2002. This exhibition will be presented in collaboration with Matthew Marks Gallery, New York. Many of the drawings are on public display and published for the first time. With over 30 drawings, the exhibition seeks to follow de Kooning’s evolution from classical historicism to revolutionary new forms. The Artist's Hand will present a selection of works on paper, pencil drawings and watercolors, created over a 17 year span, from 1937 to 1954. This is a particularly critical period for the artist and one from which very few works survive. The exhibition is a rare, in-depth chronicle of de Kooning’s development from the 19th Century-inspired works of the late-1930s through the birth of his signature abstractions of the 1940s to the seminal, explosive "women" works of the early-1950s. De Kooning’s influences during this period, which range from Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, the Le Nain brothers, Pablo Picasso and his contemporaries John Graham and Arshile Gorky will be explored. Among the important drawings to be exhibited are two collections formed by early supporters of de Kooning's work: property from the estates of the artists Saul Steinberg and Janice Biala Brustlein. From the Steinberg collection, the enigmatic and powerful "Self-Portrait with Imaginary Brother," circa 1938 (the artist’s earliest known self-portrait, last exhibited in New York at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1983), will be on view. The exhibition will coincide with a survey of the artist’s work at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles from February 10 – May, 2002. Another survey is currently on view, at IVAM/Centro Julio Gonzales in Valencia, Spain from September 6 – December 2, 2001 and will travel to the Fundacio "la Caixa," in Madrid, Spain, on view from December 20, 2001 – March 25, 2002. An opening night reception will take place at Mitchell-Innes & Nash on January 17, 2002 from 6 to 8pm, together with the opening of Stephen Sollins: Dwelling. Gallery hours are 10:00am to 5:00pm, Tuesday through Saturday. A fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by Amy Schichtel, the Collections Curator of the Estate of Willem de Kooning, will be available through the Gallery. For press information or to request slides, please contact: Stacy Bolton, tel: (212) 721-5350, fax: (212) 721-0780, email:, or Adrian Turner at Mitchell-Innes & Nash at the numbers below.