Elaine de Kooning was a prolific artist, art critic, portraitist, and teacher during the height of the Abstract Expressionist era and well beyond. Although her early career was overshadowed by that of Willem de Kooning, her husband, Elaine's artistic range, vast knowledge of media, and influence on fellow artists was undeniable.
Many of her so-called pure abstract paintings were produced during the 1950s. Early in her career, much of her work was composed of watercolors and still-lifes, and later, much of her art fused abstraction with mythology, primitive imagery, and realism. Elaine de Kooning's work continues to receive increasing critical attention as she was, without question, one of the most important art teachers to have worked in the 20th century.