Willem de Kooning was a Dutch American abstract expressionist artist. In the post-World War II era, de Kooning painted in a style that came to be referred to as Abstract expressionism or Action painting, and was part of a group of artists that came to be known as the New York School. Other painters in this group included Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, Arshile Gorky, Mark Rothko, Hans Hofmann, Adolph Gottlieb, Robert Motherwell, Philip Guston and Clyfford Still. His early artistic training included eight years at the Rotterdam Academy of Fine Arts and Techniques. In the 1920s he worked as an assistant to the art director of a Rotterdam department store In 1938, probably under the influence of Arshile Gorky, De Kooning embarked on a series of male figures, including Two Men Standing, Man, and Seated Figure (Classic Male), while simultaneously embarking on a more purist series of lyrically colored abstractions, such as Pink Landscape and Elegy. As his work progressed, the heightened colors and elegant lines of the abstractions began to creep into the more figurative works, and the coincidence of figures and abstractions continued well into the 1940s. This period includes the representational but somewhat geometricized Woman and Standing Man, along with numerous untitled abstractions whose biomorphic forms increasingly suggest the presence of figures. By about 1945 the two tendencies seemed to fuse perfectly in Pink Angels. Personal life: In 1938, De Kooning met Elaine Marie Fried, later known as Elaine de Kooning, whom he married in 1943. She also became a significant artist. The both had one daughter. Death:He died March 19, 1997 in Long Island, New York, USA.