He covers with his colors large canvases in which he can soak himself and catch the viewer. The colors come to play over a luminous lead white ground. The hand is fast but the balance of the blocks and the uneven brightness provided by the variation in the thickness of paint meet a predefined composition.
Abstraction does not adequately match the contemplation of the artist in his surrounding. The colors now evoke the sea, the tree and the naked flesh, without being supported by a figurative drawing.
The series of Untitled painted by de Kooning in 1977 are the masterpieces of abstract landscape. Untitled XXV, 196 x 224 cm, was sold for $ 66M including premium by Christie's on November 15, 2016.
On May 17 in New York, Christie's sells the Untitled II from the same year, oil on canvas in the same size, lot 42 B estimated $ 25M.
Untitled II expresses the colors and balances of nature while bringing an additional theme : the body of a woman who is peacefully reclining in the foreground offers a rare reminder from the Woman series which had brought to the artist his unfairly sulphurous notoriety a quarter of a century earlier.
His new inspiration will be ephemeral. In the following year the structuring lines separating the colors destroy the thematic illusion in these compositions falling back to mere abstractions.