Verso titled, dated, and signed on stretcher: "Bill Brown / name 'B.B.' '54 Elaine de Kooning".
William Theophilus Brown, a prominent artist of the Bay Area Figurative Movement, is the subject of de Kooning’s painting. Brown met and befriended de Kooning and her husband while studying painting in New York following his discharge after World War II. This portrait belongs to de Kooning’s seminal “faceless men series” of 1949-1956, in which the artist painted male friends and family in informal poses with blank or blurry faces.
Exhibited: Hackett-Freedman Gallery, Portraits, 2003