In recent years, following his large-scale research on Melchior d’Hondecoeter for his 2010 exhibition Intolerance at the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, Willem de Rooij has turned his attention to d’Hondecoeters’ cousin Jan Weenix and to the relations they had with their pupil Dirk Valkenburg. De Rooij’s researches always look at historical phenomena from a post-colonial perspective and at classism-related information that is transmitted through images. Likewise significant are allegorical allusions, formal techniques and practices, and parameters on the basis of which we look at and interpret works against the background of present-day discourse: the issues discussed include the original, the copy, certain ‘formulas’ and iteration techniques, and the conditions governing the exhibiting and loaning/travelling of artworks /commodities and living ‘material’ in a globalized world. In the installation King Vulture of 2022, de Rooij took up several of these elements. One was the decision, prompted by certain conditions resulting from the operation of the museum, to have the photographic reproductions of the paintings, marked with visible colour cards, copied by Yaohui Zhu and the team of the Yunxi Art Studio, Dafen (China). At the Paintings Gallery, this thread is picked up in the artist’s selection of works by Jan Weenix, Melchior d’Hondecoeter and Dirk Valkenburg from the Academy holdings and other Viennese collections, which he puts into a specific spatial constellation.
Die Sammlung betrachten & King Vulture An Insert by Willem de Rooij
8 Mar 2023 - 20 Aug 2023
Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien, Schillerplatz, Wien, Österreich
Exhibition Motif combining works by Willem de Rooij, Documentation of Jan Weenix’ Südamerikanischer Königsgeier (1700) from the collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien by anonymous photographer, painted by Yaohui Zhu and team for Yunxi Art Studio, Dafen, 2022 © Willem de Rooij, Photo: Mathias Völzke; Jan van der Heyden, Still Life with Globe, Books and Chinese Silk, around 1669 © Paintings Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna