Willem de Rooij


A range of flesh tones rule in this season’s fashion offerings, and at first glance, de Rooij’s latest works at Petzel appear responsive to the trend. Mixed bouquets rest of MDF pedestals in shades of yellow, pink and brown—colors that are echoed in the six textiles hung in the gallery. Upon closer inspection, the fabric works are not monochrome appropriations à la Blinky Palermo, but rather pieces composed of dense patterns in neighboring hues that reveal irregularities—raised bumps and diptych panels that don’t quite match up stitch to stitch. These intricate weavings constitute the latest iteration of a method the Dutch artist has been pursuing since 2009, commissioning handmade textiles in threads difficult to knit together. Considered in light of his earlier conceptual works with Jeroen de Rijke plumbing the symbolic weight of colors, these textiles point to the art world’s reengagement with questions of identity.