Although her career as an artist was often overshadowed by the celebrity of her husband, Willem de Kooning, Elaine de Kooning was an important figure in the history of Abstract Expressionism and one of the few women of her generation to be respected as an artist in her own right. She crafted a style of abstract figuration that distinguished her from her contemporaries, using the framework of portraiture, in particular, to her advantage. Among her sitters were defining figures of her generation, including the poets and writers Allen Ginsberg, Frank O’Hara and John Ashbery, as well as President John F. Kennedy and, of course, her husband, the subject of this work. Bill at St. Mark’s, one of four known paintings she made of her husband, is among the artist’s most important works. It was executed at a studio she occupied for a brief period of time at Saint Mark’s Place in New York City’s East Village.