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Curatorial Art by Willem de Rooij

An image of four Dutch classical paintings in a gallery

Paintings by Melchior d'Hondecoeter, part of Intolerance exhibition

Dutch artist Willem de Rooij is an installation artist most known for exploring ideas of museum and art history by creating exhibitions and installations incorporating the works of other artists, both living and dead.


De Rooij has a fascination with classical painting, in particular romanticized images of animals and nature. In one of his more recent exhibitions, titled Intolerance, De Rooij combined the paintings of 17th-century Dutch painter Melchior d’Hondecoeter – who exclusively painted realistic bird – with Hawaiian feather sculptures from the same era. The collection highlighted the ways that museums acquire and display art, and the nature of public museum collections – while contrasting two very different art styles from a similar time period.

A photograph of a permanent installation featuring a classical painting encased in plexiglassResidual, permanent installation

I like the way that De Rooij works, using a curatorial art practice to open a conversation about museums and art institutions in relation to art history. His practice is a very academic one, but for those interested in art history and theory, it has its rewards.


A photo of an artistic flower arrangementBouquet 1, floral arrangement

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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