Washington, DC – HEMPHILL is pleased to announce the exhibition, WILLEM de LOOPER: Paintings 1968 – 1972, opening on Saturday, January 15, 2022. The exhibition will remain on view through February 26, 2022.
To expand the public’s understanding of the significance of Willem de Looper’s contribution to the Washington Color School, HEMPHILL has partnered with the Frauke and Willem de Looper Foundation to showcase eleven paintings created between 1968 and 1972. Largely pulled from storage, and unseen by the public for many years, these works must be experienced in person to fully appreciate their immersive effect on the viewer.
The impact of the Washington Color School on mid-20th century art history is undeniably significant, but this understanding is not complete without recognizing the contributions of Willem de Looper. Younger than other artists associated with the development of the movement, de Looper’s inclusion in a 1968 Jefferson Place Gallery 10th Anniversary exhibition alongside Gene Davis, Thomas Downing, and Sam Gilliam to name a few, marks his membership in the group.
The visual quality of de Looper’s canvases, with their flooded surfaces of impossibly thinned acrylic paint, in conversation with the batik-like stained works of Sam Gilliam made at the same time/of the same period, illustrates the two artists’ distinct yet complimentary approaches to color field painting. Rather than rely on the gestural, de Looper sought to create purely atmospheric experiences with his layered fields of color. Willem de Looper’s seminal stained paintings were an important contribution to the non-representational painting which defines the Washington Color School.
The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue including essay by Kristen Hileman, Independent Curator.