Willem de Looper: Stained Paintings, 1964 - 1970 
January 17 - March 28, 2015 
delooper oxford 48x36 web



Paint rushed across Willem de Looper’s taut canvases like mercury, seeking every edge with daring and defiance, jumping with the slightest adjustment of his wrist. This process of staining layers of thinned acrylic paint into unprimed canvas achieved an aura of complete immersion in color – a feeling of weightlessness. He allowed the paint to flow with a vigorous truth to the material. This system stands in stark contrast to the methods of de Looper’s Color School contemporaries, Morris Louis and Sam Gilliam. These artists chose to work on slack, unstretched canvases that shepherded their mediums quite differently. 

Willem de Looper graduated from American University in 1957 with a degree in fine art, then served two years in the army stationed in Germany. De Looper’s post-military career brought him to the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, where he began work as a security guard in 1959. He eventually rose to the position of curator in the late 1970s. This exhibition offers collectors and institutions alike an unparalleled opportunity to view an elegant group of paintings from the period 1964-1970.

Image: Willem de Looper, Oxford, 1969, acrylic on canvas, 48” x 36”