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Smithsonian gallery to host Elaine de Kooning's rarely seen portraits

A retrospective of Elaine de Kooning's portraits -- bold examples of postwar Abstract Expressionism -- will open March 13 at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

"Elaine de Kooning: Portraits" gathers 66 of her remarkable paintings and sketches described as "colorful, fluid and gestural" in a recent announcement by the National Portrait Gallery.

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"As a portraitist ... she never abandoned working with the figure but ensured that a person's likeness was linked to their innate vitality and spirit," museum director Kim Sajet said in a statement.

President Kennedy, who sat for the artist, is the subject of nine pieces in the show. One portrait done in 1963 hangs in the permanent "American Presidents" exhibition at the portrait gallery. It will be integrated into this exhibition. Kennedy was assassinated Nov. 22, 1963.

Other subjects include activist poet Allen Ginsberg; her husband, painter Willem de Kooning; and painter Robert de Niro Sr. (the actor's father).

The exhibition continues through Jan. 10.

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