February 6, 2017 - Institute of Modern Art - Willem de Rooij: Ebb Rains
February 6, 2017

Institute of Modern Art

Willem de Rooij, Ebb Rains, 2017.

Willem de Rooij
Ebb Rains
February 11–March 25, 2017

Institute of Modern Art
420 Brunswick Street
Fortitude Valley
Brisbane Queensland 4006

T +61 7 3252 5750

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The Institute of Modern Art (IMA) will open the first solo exhibition in Australia of renowned Berlin-based Dutch artist Willem de Rooij, Ebb Rains, on February 11. He is a highly influential artist and educator, through his longtime role at the Städelschule in Frankfurt, Germany, and a practice that spans two decades, including such prestigious acknowledgements as Prix de Rome in 1996, and representing the Netherlands at the 51st Venice Biennale in 2005. De Rooij’s expansive exhibition at the IMA reflects on the Dutch colonial presence in the Asia Pacific region and makes subtle reference to more recent instances of empire and intervention in the natural world.

In particular, two large-scale sublime textiles Blue to Black (2013) and Black to Blue (2015) trace the global legacy of the Dutch colonial project, looking at textile industries in Ghana and Indonesia where one of the two works was produced with the support of the IMA. More recent developments in de Rooij’s work with hand-woven fabrics can be seen in the series of seven stretched textiles shaped as tangrams (a Chinese dissection puzzle). In this body of work from 2015, hand-spun thread in two colours form the warp and weft to create rich monochromes. Also investigating the ambiguous relations between colour and "meaning" is the iconic work Orange, created by de Rijke/de Rooij in 2004 (his collaboration with Jeroen de Rijke, 1994–2006). This series of slides use a single colour to make reference to an expansive range of subjects. Bouquet XVI (2015), is a monumental dried floral arrangement, sourced locally, that reveals the artist’s multilayered and complex approach to materials and concepts, referencing climate, drought, and the still-life tradition so prominent in Dutch art history. In a surreal twist, Farafra (2013), extends the presence of the natural world through sound.

About the artist

Willem de Rooij, born 1969 in Beverwijk, the Netherlands, now lives and works in Berlin, Germany. De Rooij studied art history at the University of Amsterdam and art at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. He is currently Professor of Fine Art at the Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main and Guest Advisor at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam. In 2014 he was nominated for the Vincent Award, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague. Recent solo exhibitions include: Entitled (2016), MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany; The Impassioned No (2015), Le Consortium, Dijon, France; Character Is Fate (2015) Witte de With, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Index: Riots, Protest, Mourning and Commemoration (2014), Arnolfini, Bristol, UK; Using Walls, Floors and Ceilings (2014), the Jewish Museum, New York, USA; Farafra (2013), Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Norway; Untitled (2012) at Kunstverein München, Munich; Crazy Repelled Firelight (2011), Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York, USA; and Intolerance (2010) at Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany.

Coming up at the IMA
Following on from de Rooij’s exhibition, the IMA presents the film installation Nellie (2013) by acclaimed Australian/Dutch/Indonesian artist Fiona Tan, April 1–29. Nellie takes its point of departure from the imagined life of a forgotten woman, Cornelia van Rijn, who was the daughter of the famed seventeenth century painter Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn. At the age of 15 she emigrated to Batavia, present day Jakarta. Showing simultaneously is a recent work by emerging Australian artist Liam O’Brien, the latest recipient of the IMA’s biannual Jeremy Hynes Award.

The Institute of Modern Art
Since 1975, the IMA has been Queensland’s leading independent forum for art and its discourses. Our innovative and diverse programs embed the international in the local and engage the local internationally.

The IMA is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, the Australian Government through Australia Council for the Arts, and the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian Federal, State, and Territory Governments. The IMA is a member of Contemporary Art Organisations Australia.

Willem de Rooij: Ebb Rains is generously supported by the Mondriaan Fund.

Institute of Modern Art
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Ebb Rains
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