Elaine DeKooning was born and grew up in Brooklyn, New York and spent her childhood studying the lives of artists and visiting the museums and galleries of New York City. After high school she attended the American Artists School and the Leonardo da Vinci School and was swept up in the cultural excitement in New York of the late 1930s and early 1940s. In 1943 she married Willem de Kooning, one of the group of artists soon to emerge as the first generation of Abstract Expressionists. He was sixteen years older than she.
Elaine never completely abandoned representation. A substantial part of her career had been devoted to portraiture, for which she was particularly known in the 1950s and 1960s. Her most
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