Willem De Looper (1932-2009)

IMG_4051

IMG_4050Willem De Looper (1932-2009). Untitled, 1974. Acrylic on canvas, 44 x 45 inches; 46 x 47 inches framed. Signed, dated and tiled en verso. Excellent condition with no damage or conservation. Max Protetch Gallery label affixed en verso.

SOLD

Biography:

Willem Johan de Looper (October 30, 1932 – January 30, 2009) was an American abstract artist, and chief curator at The Phillips Collection.

Willem de Looper, born October 30, 1932, was the third child of Wilhelmina Johanna and Henri Bastiaan de Looper. He grew up in The Hague and had a Montessori education. During the German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II, the family moved three times, once settling with a family friend who was a musician. This started a lifelong love of music that would later influence de Looper’s visual art. As the war ended and American publications, like The New Yorker, Saturday Evening Post, and Life became available, de Looper immersed himself in their content and spent a great deal of time copying the illustrations. He also developed a fascination with and love of America and American culture.[2]

In 1950, at age 17, de Looper immigrated to Washington, D.C., joining his older brother Hans who worked at the International Monetary Fund. He started an undergraduate education in business and economics and then changed his major to art.[2] At American University de Looper studied with Robert Gates, Sarah Marindah Baker, and Ben Summerford. (De Looper considered Summerford his greatest mentor.) De Looper continued to live with his brother during his university years and his brother financed his education. He traveled frequently home to visit his parents as well as Dutch art museums. After graduating from American University in 1957, de Looper served two years in the U.S. Army in Germany.[2]

During his tour in Europe, in 1958, he attended the Brussels World’s Fair and saw Abstract Expressionist paintings for the first time in the American Pavilion. He traveled as much as he could throughout the continent to see art and collected and studied art magazines and journals. He also married during this time, Lili Mentrop, a childhood friend, but the marriage was brief.[2]

After returning from the Army in 1959, de Looper worked as a museum guard for the Phillips Collection. He claimed that during 1962-1963, he filled a notebook with watercolors influenced by Phillips Collection artists such as Paul Klee, John Marin, and Arthur Dove. He experimented with styles and processes of the Color Field artists (rolling, pouring, and staining with paint.) In the 1960s, he exhibited his work at the Franz Bader Gallery, International Monetary Fund, Society of Washington Artists, and Jefferson Place Gallery.[2]

In 1966, de Looper had his first solo exhibition at the Jefferson Place Gallery in Washington, DC. The gallery would go on to host solo exhibitions of his work every year through 1974.After his second marriage in 1969 to Frauke Weber, the couple moved into the St. Regis building on California Street in Northwest Washington D.C. where he finally had a large studio space, which brought on a period of working on larger canvases. De Looper continued pursuing his career as an artist while working for the Philips Collection, and became assistant curator in 1972, then curator at the museum from 1982 – 1987.[2]

De Looper has shown at many established galleries and museums such as The National Gallery of Art, The Phillips Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Gardenand Corcoran Gallery of Art. The Phillips Collection hosted solo shows of his work in 1975 and 2002.[1]

He died January 30, 2009 of emphysema.

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

 

2015 “Willem De Looper, Stained Paintings: 1964-1970” Hemphill Gallery, Washington DC

2013 “Willem de Looper: All That Jazz…Works from the 80s and 90s,” Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO

“Washington Art Matters: 1940s-1980s,” Katzen Arts Center, American University, Washington, DC

2012 “Willem de Looper: Paintings 1968-72,” Hemphill Fine Arts, Washington DC

“The Morris at Twenty,” Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, GA

2011 “The Big Reveal,” Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO

2009 “Willem de Looper – In Memoriam,” Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO

“Memorial Exhibition,” The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC

2008 “Willem de Looper,” Katzen Arts Center, American University, Washington, DC

PASS Gallery, Washington, DC

2006 PASS Gallery, Washington, DC

2002 “Willem de Looper: A Birthday Celebration,” The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC

2001 “New Paintings,” Alex Gallery, Washington, DC

2000 “Art Paris,” Galerie Sacha Tarassoff, Paris, France

“Recent Paintings,” Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO

“Willem de Looper: Paintings 1998-2000,” Alex Gallery, Washington, DC

1998 “Willem de Looper: Recent Paintings,” Troyer Fitzpatrick Lassman Gallery, Washington, DC

“New Paintings,” PASS, Washington, DC

“Recent Work,” Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO

1997 Troyer Fitzpatrick Lassman Gallery, Washington DC

“Willem de Looper Retrospective,” University of Maryland, College Park, MD

1996 “Uno (only one),” Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO (two-person exhibition)

Troyer Fitzpatrick Lassman Gallery, Washington, DC

“Sketchbooks and Works on Paper,” The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC

“Paintings from 1960-1976,” Federal Reserve Board, jointly with the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC

1995 “New Work,” Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO

Troyer Fitzpatrick Lassman Gallery Washington, DC

“Willem De Looper: Paintings and Painted Objects,” Pavilion of Fine Arts, Montgomery College, Takoma Park, MD

“Willem de Looper: Sketchbooks and Small Paintings on Paper,” The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC

1994 “Recent Work,” Watkins Gallery, American University, Washington, DC

1993 Troyer Fitzpatrick Lassman Gallery, Washington, DC

1992 Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO

Jones Troyer Fitzpatrick Gallery, Washington, DC

1991 Smith Andersen Gallery, Palo Alto, CA

1990 “Works on Canvas and Paper,” Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO

1989 B.R. Kornblatt Gallery, Washington, DC

Jones Troyer Fitzpatrick Gallery, Washington, DC

1988 Shippee Gallery, New York, NY

Tilghman Gallery, Boca Raton, FL

1987 B.R. Kornblatt Gallery, Washington, DC

Tilghman Gallery, Boca Raton, FL

1986 “Area Exhibitions,” Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

1985 Montgomery College, Takoma Park, MD

B.R. Kornblatt Gallery, Washington, DC

“Area Exhibitions,” Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

1983 B.R. Kornblatt Gallery, Washington, DC

1982 Wald, Harkrader, and Ross, Washington, DC

1980 McIntosh/Drysdale Gallery, Washington, DC

“Area Exhibitions,” Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

1979 Sarah Y. Rentschler Gallery, New York, NY

Galerie L., Hamburg, West Germany

1978 Max Protech Gallery, Washington, DC

The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC

Montgomery College, Takoma Park, MD

Jean-Marie Antone Gallery, Annapolis, MD

1977 Max Protech Gallery, Washington, DC

Fraser’s Stable Gallery, Washington, DC

1976 Max Protech Gallery, Washington, DC

“The Golden Door: Artist Immigrants of America, 1876-1976,” Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC

Three-person exhibition, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

1975 Max Protech Gallery, Washington, DC

“Large Paintings and Works on Paper,” The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC

“Paintings from 1962-1975,” Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale, VA

1974 Montgomery College, Takoma Park, MD

Jefferson Place Gallery, Washington, DC

1972 Jefferson Place Gallery, Washington, DC

1971 The Athenaeum of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

1970 Jefferson Place Gallery, Washington, DC

Philomathean Gallery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

“Washington, Twenty Years,” Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD

1968 Jefferson Place Gallery, Washington, DC

“Group Seven,” Washington Gallery of Modern Art, Washington, DC

1967 Jefferson Place Gallery, Washington, DC

“Area Exhibitions,” Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

1966 Jefferson Place Gallery, Washington, DC

1965 “Area Exhibitions,” Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2017 “Peace,” Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO

“All the Blues”, Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO

“Abstraction,” Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO

2016 “From the Racks,” Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO

2015 “Works on Paper,” Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO

2012 “RED,” Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO

2011 “The Big Reveal” Kemper Art Museum, Kansas City, MO

“SILVER,” 25th Anniversary Show, Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO

2010 “Art Chicago 2010,” Atrium Gallery, Chicago, IL

2009 “Art Chicago 2009,” Atrium Gallery, Chicago, IL

2008 “Choose One,” Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO

“Abstraction,” Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO

2007 “International Blitz,” Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO

2006 “Paper, Paper,” Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO

“Selections,” Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO

2005 “Holiday Group Show,” Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO

“With Spirit,” Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO

2004 CITIRAMA, St. Louis, MO

2004 Chesterfield Arts Gallery Exhibit, Chesterfield, MO

2004 “In the Cool of the Night,” Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO

2003 “Atrium at the Plaza,” St. Louis, MO

“Art Palm Beach,” Atrium Gallery, Palm Beach, FL

Atrium Gallery at HOK, St. Louis, MO

2002 “Scale It,” Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO

“Art Palm Beach,” Atrium Gallery, Palm Beach, FL

2000 “Recycled Paper III,” Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO

1999 “Recycled Paper II,” Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO

1998 “Recycled Paper,” Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO

1997 “Atrium Gallery at the Noonday Club,” St. Louis, MO

1996 “Inspiration: Collection,” 10th Anniversary Exhibition, Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO

1994 “Evolution of the Print,” Addison/Ripley, Washington, DC.

1993 “Dealer’s Choice,” Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO

“New Works on Paper,” Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO

1991 “Scale,” Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO

“5th Anniversary Exhibition,” Atrium Gallery, St. Louis, MO

1990 Smith-Anderson Gallery, Palo Alto, CA

1981-82 Janus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1979 Middendorf-Lane Gallery, Washington, DC
1978 Chuck Levitan Gallery, New York, NY

Fishbach Gallery, New York, NY

1974 Adams/Davidson Gallery, Washington, DC

1971 “Local Color,” Northern Virginia Arts Association

International Monetary Fund

Kingpitcher Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA

 

 

 

PERFORMANCE

 

Participated in Art Now 74 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts with a sky-writing piece called “Sky Forms.”

 

SELECTED PUBLIC AND CORPORATE COLLECTIONS

 

A. G. Edwards, St. Louis, MO

American University Museum, Washington, DC

Arent, Fox, Kinter, and Plotkin

Atlantic Richfield Corporation, Los Angeles, CA

Belvedere, Inc., Belvidere, IL

Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Pittsburgh, PA

Champion International, Inc., St. Louis, MO

Chicapee Manufacturing Company

Citicorp, New York, NY

Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Cresap, McCormack and Paget, Inc.

Crowell and Moring

Deloitte, Haskins, and Sells

Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC

Emerson Electric, St. Louis, MO

Federal National Bank, Washington, DC
Federal Reserve Banks: Miami, FL and Richmond, VA

General American Life Insurance Company, St. Louis, MO

Goldman, Sachs, New York, NY

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC

Howard Hughes Medical Center, Bethesda, MD

Howrey & Simon, Washington, DC

IBM, Washington, DC

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, MO

Kreeger Museum, Washington, DC

Krey Distributing Company, St. Peters, MO

Lowenstein, Newman, Reis, and Axelrod

Maritz, Wolff & Co., St. Louis, MO

Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, GA

Mudge, Rose, Guthrie, and Alexander

National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC

National Science Foundation, Washington, DC

Owens Illinois, Toledo, OH
Patten, Boggs, and Blow

Peat, Marwick, Mitchell

Pepper, Hamilton, and Sheetz

Pharmaceutical Manufacturer Assoc., Washington, DC

Phillip Morris Corporation

Riggs National Bank, Washington, DC
Rosenthal Datseum, Fairfax, VA

Rozansky and Kay

Security Pacific National Bank

Squire, Sanders, and Dempsey

Sterling Federal Bank, Sterling, IL

Stone Carlie, St. Louis, MO

The Baltimore Museum of Art

The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC

The World Bank, Washington, DC

United Savings Association, Rockville, MD

US Bank, St. Louis, MO

U.S. News and World Report Executive Apartment

Victor Shargai and Associates

Wald, Hackrader, and Ross

Washington Post Company, Washington, DC

Westinghouse Collection

Witowsky, Weiner, McCaffrey