ART: Seeing the Face in the Fire

Though it omits sculpture and drawing, a De Kooning retrospective proves his genius once again

Willem de Kooning, whom many would call America's greatest living painter, was 43 when he had his first one-man show and today, at 90, with his painting career finished by senility, he has still not had an adequate museum retrospective. The last attempt at such a show was staged at the Whitney Museum in New York City 10 years ago. It was a bust because so many of De Kooning's key paintings from the '40s and '50s were not lent. The show titled "Willem de Kooning Paintings," which opened this month at the National Gallery in Washington -- it will go...

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