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Willem de Kooning, an abstract expressionist who became one of the 20th cen

March 20, 1997

EAST HAMPTON, N.Y. (AP) _ Willem de Kooning, an abstract expressionist who became one of the 20th century’s greatest painters, died in his studio Wednesday. He was 92.

De Kooning’s abstract expressionist works stressed the depiction of emotion through shapes and colors, incorporating traces of the surrealist movement and prefiguring Pop art.

His meticulously composed 1944 ``Pink Lady,″ sold for $3.63 million in 1987. Two years later his 1955 masterpiece ``Interchange″ sold for a stunning $20.6 million.

De Kooning painted daily until the late 1980s, even after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. In 1989, after a bitter court fight, he was declared mentally incompetent and control of his estate was given to his attorney and his daughter, Lisa, his only survivor.

His first one-man show came in 1948 at age 44. His ``Excavation″ won the major prize at the Art Institute of Chicago’s 1951 exhibition.

In the 1950s, de Kooning returned to the figure, working for three years on ``Woman I,″ which was bought by the Museum of Modern Art.

De Kooning never considered the work finished, or even a success, but it became the most reproduced work of art in the 1950s, and other ``Woman″ paintings followed.

``Flesh,″ de Kooning once said, ``was the reason why oil painting was invented.″

Jacques Foccart

PARIS (AP) _ Jacques Foccart, French diplomat to Africa who often wielded more power than African heads of state and even orchestrated their rise and fall, died Wednesday. He was 83.

Foccart had suffered several heart attacks.

Known in France as ``Mr. Africa,″ Foccart was named secretary-general for African affairs in 1961, a title he held until 1974. He helped forge post-colonial policy for France’s former territories. In retirement, Foccart continued to advise Chirac.

In a tell-all book, ``Foccart Speaks,″ Foccart says he helped hand-pick President Omar Bongo of Gabon, even dining with him to check him out, and went along with the 1966 Central African Republic coup that put in power Jean-Bedel Bokassa, who was later ousted and accused of cannibalism.

Foccart also said that even at the height of the Cold War, France viewed the United States as a worrisome rival in Africa.

Lucy Kroll

GLENDALE, Mass. (AP) _ Lucy Kroll, a talent agent whose clients ranged from James Earl Jones to Norman Mailer, died Friday. She was 87.

Mrs. Kroll crossed paths with a long list of American greats, including Lillian Gish, Martha Graham, Norman Mailer, Uta Hagen, Carl Sagan, Ossie Davis, Carl Sandburg and others ranging, she said, ``from dancers to jugglers.″ Many of them became her friends.

She also represented playwright Horton Foote for half a century and helped establish a number of regional theaters.

She sold her New York City based Lucy Kroll Agency to an associate, Barbara Hogenson, in 1994.

Corky Meinecke

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (AP) _ Corky Meinecke, a Detroit Free Press sports writer, died Tuesday of cancer. He was 44.

Meinecke worked for The Bay City Times, The Grand Rapids Press and The Detroit News before joining the Free Press in November 1988. His most recent assignment was to cover the Detroit Pistons.

Meinecke is survived by his wife, a son, two daughters, his parents, a brother and four sisters.

Margaret C. Schweinhaut

KENSINGTON, Md. (AP) _ Former state Sen. Margaret C. Schweinhaut, a champion of the elderly who served in the Legislature more than three decades, died Sunday at her home. She was 93.

She spent six years in the House of Delegates, beginning in 1955, and more than a quarter-century in the Senate.

Mrs. Schweinhaut lost her Senate seat in 1990 because of her anti-abortion stance in a district whose residents strongly supported abortion rights.

Bert-Olof Svanholm

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) _ Bert-Olof Svanholm, chairman of the Swedish automaker AB Volvo, died Tuesday at age 62.

Svanholm became chairman of Volvo in 1994 after the previous chairman, Pehr G. Gyllenhammar, resigned in the wake of an abortive attempt to merge with French automaker Renault.

Under Svanholm, Volvo divested itself of most of its non-automotive operations. Capital gains from those divestments allowed Volvo to record a pre-tax profit of $1.95 billion for 1996, despite a 9 percent drop in sales.

Before coming to Volvo, Svanholm, an engineer by training, was chief executive of the Swedish branch of the Swiss-Swedish power and engineering group, Asea Brown Boveri. He also was chairman of the highly regarded Chalmers Technical Institute in Goteborg.

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