DISPATCH - NOV 28, 2012 (7:12 p.m.)


Johanna Liesbeth de Kooning, known as Lisa de Kooning, died at her home on St. John on Friday, Nov 23, 2012, according to her family. She was 56 years old. The cause of death is pending.

Lisa de Kooning (1956-2012) was the only child of abstract expressionist artist Willem de Kooning (1904-1997) and illustrator Joan Ward (1927-2005). She is survived by three children: Isabel, Emma and Lucy de Kooning Villenueve.

Lisa de Kooning had a strong presence in the Hamptons. She grew up in Springs (outside of East Hampton, NY) and New York City. She was active in the preservation of Willem de Kooning's legacy, maintaining his studio in Springs as he left it as an educational resource for children, artists, students, educators and scholars, according to her family.

Lisa de Kooning established the de Kooning Foundation in 1991 and a trust for her collection of de Kooning's work. Since 1989, Lisa de Kooning had legal control over her father's business matters with John Eastman. The pair are credited with encouraging Willem de Kooning's retrospective at MoMA last year, according to NY Gallerist. The retrospective was Willem de Kooning's first major museum exhibition since his death in 1997.

Lisa de Kooning was a sculptor in her own right. In the Hamptons, she exhibited at Tripoli Gallery of Contemporary Art in Southampton, NY.

Lisa de Kooning.

de Kooning was philanthropic and supported a wide range of causes, according to her family. Among those most important to her were Boys and Girls Harbor, East Hampton Day Care Center, LongHouse Reserve, Robert Wilson's Byrd Hoffman Water Mill Foundation, the Springs Fire Department, the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and others.

Lisa de Kooning will be remembered for her commitment to the arts, for her commitment to her local communities and for her "spontaneous expressions of good will and kindness toward those she encountered in daily life," according to a statement issued by her family. The funeral service will be private.

Lisa de Kooning collapsed around 2:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov 23, 2012 at her home in St. John, according to an unidentified male, who was at her home at the time, according to the Miami Herald. de Kooning had no vital signs when Paramedics arrived, the newspaper reported.

The cause and circumstance of de Kooning's death is being investigated by the Virgin Islands major crimes division. Their involvement does not imply criminal activity is involved, according to Virgin Islands police spokesperson Melody Rames, reported the Miami Herald.

RELATED: Hamptons Art Hub: Lisa de Koonings Life and Death Examined by The New York Times. Published March 16, 2013.

Gallerist NY: Lisa de Kooning, Artist and Patron Who Preserved Father's Legacy, Dies at 56 by Andrew Russeth. Published Nov 27, 2012.

Miami Herald: Virgin Islands Probe in death of artist's daughter - The Associated Press. Published Nov 27, 2012.

New York Times: Johanna de Kooning Obituary. Published Nov 26, 2012.


© 2012 Pat Rogers and Hamptons Art Hub. All rights reserved.

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