Willem de Rooij at Petzel Gallery, New York

Press release:

Petzel Gallery is pleased to announce Rye Wonk, a solo exhibition by the Dutch artist Willem de Rooij. This is his third solo exhibition with the gallery.
Willem de Rooij has been producing hand woven, abstract tapestries since 2009. For Rye Wonk he will present a series of new weavings, where the interplay of warp and weft, the weave, the tension, the materiality and thickness of the threads, their colors and textures, are all of crucial importance. The fact that they are installed on walls makes it hard to categorize them: textile compositions or pictorial objects? An intricate visual dilemma reflective of de Rooij’s diverse aesthetic focused on the question of pictoriality. Although, despite this slippage, one is tempted to read them as de Rooij’s version of “pictures” in an oeuvre that has historically consisted primarily of filmic and object-based works; the weavings aim to generate meaning through the material they are made of, not through external references. These works have not arisen from a particular interest in textiles or craft skills, for instance, but are instead embedded in a multifaceted practice which has for over two decades analyzed the conventions of presentation and representation and assesses the tension between socio-political and autonomous image production.
Alongside these weavings de Rooij will present a number of new ‘Bouquets’, the latest in a series of visually complex, monumental floral sculptures that began in 2002. On one level these bouquets invite the pleasure of immediate sensory experience, however, the careful selection and grouping of individual blooms can also hint at abstract notions such as diversity, or the relation between the individual and the collective.
Unifying these two bodies of work is, among other things, de Rooij’s continual exploration of the notion of authorship. Many of his installations include works by other artists or objects loaned from ethnographic collections, and collaborations with florists, photographers or writers create new, composite layers of meaning.

Artist: Willem de Rooij
Venue: Friedrich Petzel, New York
Exhibition Title: Rye Wonk
Date: April 2 – May 2, 2015

©Friedrich Petzel, New York