Willem de Rooij

Willem de Rooij

The Jewish Museum

Installation view of Using Walls, Floors, and Ceilings: Willem de Rooij, Bouquet XI, 2014. © The Jewish Museum, New York. Photo: David Heald.

December 18, 2014

Using Walls, Floors, and Ceilings:
Willem de Rooij, Bouquet XI, 2014

On view through April 19, 2015

The Jewish Museum
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In 1970, The Jewish Museum presented Using Walls, an exhibition of commissioned artworks installed both within and beyond the gallery space of the museum’s Warburg Mansion. 

Forty-four years later, the museum revisits this idea in Using Walls, Floors, and Ceilings, a series of artist commissions initiated in 2013. Artists from around the globe have been invited to create new art or adapt a work for placement in the Skirball Lobby. Installations will be changed twice each year through 2016.  The first two artists featured were Claire Fontaine (Tears) and Mel Bochner (Blah, Blah, Blah). Future artists include Chantal Joffe, Valeska Soares, and Beatriz Milhazes.

Now on view
Willem de Rooij: Bouquet XI, 2014
Through April 19, 2015

In 2002, Dutch-born, Berlin-based artist Willem de Rooij began a series of projects in which he collaborates with florists to realize floral sculptures. Some of de Rooij’s Bouquets have been visually elaborate, incorporating numerous species of flowers and plants; others have been highly regimented, for instance juxtaposing bunches of black and white tulips—two varieties whose seasons only overlap for a short time in February.

His Bouquet XI (2014), now on view at the Jewish Museum, is a monumental, visually complex work composed of species indigenous to the Middle East—inspired by the fact that Israel, like de Rooij’s native Netherlands, is a major flower exporter. Bouquet XI was realized with New York City-based floral designer Bella Meyer, and contains allergenic flowers that may interrupt a pleasant viewing with sneezes or a stuffed nose. The drifting pollen alludes to the conflicts and harmonies that arise when borders are traversed and cultures collide, while the display of Middle Eastern flora, thousands of miles from their native habitat, hints at other global forms of movement, such as trade and commerce.

About the artist
Willem de Rooij lives and works in Berlin. Born in Beverwijk, the Netherlands in 1969, he studied art history at the University of Amsterdam and art at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. Since 2006 he has held the post of professor of fine art at the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Städelschule, Frankfurt. His work is in the collections of the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Museum Moderner Kunst, Foundation Ludwig, Vienna; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Using Walls, Floors, and Ceilings: Willem de Rooij is organized by Jens Hoffmann, Deputy Director, Exhibitions and Public Programs, and Kelly Taxter, Assistant Curator.

The presentation is made possible by the generous support of Wendy Fisher and the Mondriaan Fund.

Willem de Rooij at The Jewish Museum
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December 18, 2014

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