American-Dutch, 1904-1997. Willem de Kooning was a Dutch-American abstract artist known for his signature figurative style of paintings. The abstract expressionist played an influential role in the post-war American art and the emergence of gestural figurative paintings. His work primarily constituted the female form as a theme, also known in those times as the "Women" paintings. He used oil paint extensively to bring out the textural semiotics of flesh in his paintings. De Kooning looked up to artists like Arshile Gorky and Pablo Picasso for inspiration and created an oeuvre of work that intersected at a point where Cubism, Expressionism and Surrealism met.