De Kooning was born in Rotterdam and moved to the United States in 1926, becoming an American citizen in 1962. In 1943, he married painter Elaine Fried. In the years after World War II, he painted in a style that came to be referred to as abstract expressionism or "action painting", and was part of a group of artists that came to be known as the New York School. Other painters in this group included Jackson Pollock, Elaine de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Hans Hofmann, Nell Blaine, Adolph Gottlieb, Anne Ryan, Robert Motherwell, Clyfford Still, and Richard Pousette-Dart. De Kooning's retrospective held at MoMa in 2011–2012, made him one of the most well known artists of the 20th century.