A Fresh Contemporary Look for AbEx Legend Elaine de Kooning

Posted on July 19, 2018 by Alison Pierz

Elaine de Kooning (born Elaine Freid, 1918) is a legend of the Post War American Abstract Expressionist movement and we were honored to frame this small painting of her's. de Kooning portrayed bulls and bullfighting themes over an extended period of time after a trip to Mexico in 1958. The painting we worked with is signed and dated '74. The collectors wanted to re-frame and freshen the oil painting on paper with a clean contemporary frame and mat. We chose a lovely stained poplar molding to compliment the artist's palette and protected the work behind museum glass and the clients were thrilled with the result. 

Elaine de Kooning bullfight American Abstract Expressionist Woman artist
Elaine de Kooning's bullfight painting in its new frame at our studio

Elaine de Kooning was a New York native who was encouraged in her creative endeavors early in life. She began her formal art training at Hunter College, then transferred to the Leonardo da Vinci Art School, New York. In the 1930s she met her future husband, the artist Willem de Kooning while studying drawing with him. Elaine worked both figuratively and abstractly. Her early works were generally figurative showing influences from Cubism. Beginning in the 1940s she became a practitioner of Abstract Expressionism and championed the movement as a writer and associate editor for Art News

Elaine de Kooing work on paper bullfight
Another bullfight work on paper from the same period (image courtesy of Mark Borghi Fine Art)

Elaine saw the benefits of promoting her husband's work and name but was a strong artist in her own right. She was a founding member of the Greenwich Village artist's organization called The Club and was included in the 1961 Whitney Annual (now Biennial). Although an advocate of AbEx, she developed a reputation for painting portraits of individuals and was commissioned to paint President John F. Kennedy's portrait. Following Kennedy's assassination, she ceased painting for an entire year. de Kooning's work was frequently exhibited in gallery's and museums throughout her lifetime and she spent a summer at the important, experimental Black Mountain College. She is represented in numerous major collections including the Museum of Modern Art and Guggenheim which each have a bullfight / Mexico related work. 

Elaine de Kooning portrait by Willem de Kooning
A portrait of Elaine de Kooning by Willem de Kooning (image courtesy of Hamptons Art Hub)

Providing custom framing offers us the opportunity to work with many exceptional works of art. Framing this piece from such an important American female artist was a real honor and we look forward to working with even more art of this caliber in the future.


Posted in Abstract Expressionism, Custom Framing, Elaine de Kooning

Framing Masters of Modern Art from "The Peace Portfolio"

Posted on April 26, 2017 by Alison Pierz

Adolph Gottlieb's framed 1970 lithograph from the "Peace Portfolio"

The Frames and Stretchers team is thrilled to continue our ongoing association with the Ford Foundation. We recently had the pleasure of framing a complete set of The Peace Portfolio prints for their collection. We honored these masterpieces of Modern Art with custom framing using black hardwood maple molding. All 12 of the artworks were floated on museum mat boards using traditional Japanese paper hinges and rice paste and high grade UV protective plexi.

The Peace Portfolio is a set of vintage lithograph and screen prints originally published by the Academic and Professional Action Committee for a Responsible Congress. According to the artnet auction listing, the original purpose of the portfolio was to,"raise money for ‘the politics of peace,’ and proceeds were distributed to candidates in the 1970 election committed to ending the Vietnam War and for the return of social and racial justice in the United States.”

Peace Portfolio Robert Rauschenberg Saul Steinberg 

Stascia with framed works by Robert Rauschenberg and Saul Steinberg from the "Peace Portfolio"

This amazing collection of artworks resonates with relevance in today’s current political climate, but features works from significant twentieth century artists including: Adolph Gottlieb, Lee Krasner, Robert Motherwell, Robert Rauschenberg, and Saul Steinberg among others. Gottlieb, Krasner and Motherwell are stellar examples of American Abstract Expressionism (AbEx) with connections to the New York School while Rauchenberg represents a link between AbEx and the later Pop Art movement. Steinberg, a cartoonist and illustrator whose was often featured in The New Yorker, adds an example of figurative illustration to this impressive collection. Rounding out the set of 12 original graphics are works by: Allan D’Arcangelo, Herbert Ferber, William Stanley Hayter, George Ortman, Estaban Vicente and Larry Zox. Prints from the portfolio are represented in numerous museum collections. 

 Peace Portfolio George Ortman Lithograph

Antonio with George Ortman's lithograph, "Peace"

Frames and Stretcher is grateful to the Ford Foundation for their continued support and for the strength of their mission in general. The Foundation is dedicated to the advancement of human rights and social justice for people from all backgrounds.

Posted in Abstract Expressionism, Adolph Gottlieb, custom framing, frames and stretchers, Lee Krasner, modern art, Pop Art, Rauschenberg, Robert Motherwell, Saul Steinberg