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Head #3

A work made of bronze; edition 5 of 12.
© 2018 The Willem de Kooning Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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  • A work made of bronze; edition 5 of 12.




Willem de Kooning
American, born Netherlands, 1904–1997

About this artwork

In 1969, during a vacation in Rome, Willem de Kooning was invited by the American sculptor Herzl Emanuel to his nearby bronze foundry. While there, de Kooning began working with clay and, over the course of the next couple of weeks, made a series of small-scale figures, one of which Emanuel cast in bronze. Encouraged by the sculptor Henry Moore, de Kooning continued creating works that he called “painting in three dimensions.” The heavy, exaggerated form of Head #3 recalls the contorted figures from de Kooning’s paintings. Reflecting on his sculptures, the artist stated: “In some ways, clay is even better than oil. You can work and work on a painting but you can’t start over again with the canvas like it was before you put the first stroke down… . But with clay … if I don’t like what I did, or I changed my mind, I can break it down and start over. It’s always fresh.”


Currently Off View


Contemporary Art


Willem de Kooning


Head #3


United States (Artist's nationality)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Bronze; edition 5 of 12


49.5 × 29.2 × 29.2 cm (19 1/2 × 11 1/2 × 11 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by Margaret Fisher

Reference Number



© 2018 The Willem de Kooning Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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