Willem de Rooij (b. 1969), a professor at the Frankfurt Städelschule art academy since 2006, is one of the most influential artists of his generation. Often bearing reference to works by other artists or artefacts from historical and anthropological collections, his works revolve around questions of representation and meaning.
For his exhibition at the MMK 2, de Rooij unites three of his existing workgroups for the first time in suspenseful dialogues. The three workgroups featured in the show are the large "weavings" (since 2009), the eighteen large-scale "Index panels" (2003) and the sportswear collection entitled "Fong Leng".
The "weavings" series consists of textile works produced in various sizes, formats and colour combinations. Willem de Rooij here took the structural polarity of “warp and woof” as his point of departure for an exploration of abstract concepts such as opposition, contrast, transition and nuance.
For the work "Index: Riots, Protest, Mourning and Commemoration", de Rooij collects newspaper clippings about public events of the kind indicated in the title taking place all over the world. He thus suggests that the viewers can here gain deeper insight into the representation of political struggles and conflicts. Yet the clippings have been robbed of their captions, and closer examination dashes any hopes of finding logical order in the examples presented. The work thus critically questions and puts in perspective the possibility of introducing an objective order to the images.
The workgroup "Fong Leng" negotiates corresponding concepts, now explored by de Rooij in the Chinese-Dutch fashion designer Fong Leng’s extensive sportswear line.