I knew de Kooning and I went to his studio so I knew about de Kooning's work. But only a little handful knew about it, you know. Maybe there were ten people that knew about it.
The big shock of my life was Abstract Expressionism - Pollock, de Kooning, those guys. It changed my work. I was an academically trained student, and suddenly you could pour paint, smear it on, broom it on! LeRoy Neiman
Willem de Kooning is generally credited for coming out of the painterly gates strong in the forties, revolutionizing art and abstraction and reaching incredible heights by the early fifties, and then tailing off. Jerry Saltz
Abstract Expressionism - the first American movement to have a worldwide influence - was remarkably short-lived: It heated up after World War II and was all but done for by 1960 (although visit any art school today and you'll find a would-be Willem de Kooning). Jerry Saltz