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Press Release


Opening Reception: Thursday, January 19, 6-8 pm

Friedrich Petzel Gallery is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition in New York by Dutch artists, Jeroen de Rijke and Willem de Rooij. This show will feature a slide projection titled Orange, a bouquet of flowers and its black-and-white photographic representation, Bouquet IV, as well as two large-scale photos, titled Light Studies V and VI.

The slide projection, Orange, consists of a series of 81 monochrome slides, projected in succession on a white wall. Because the color orange, when used in a photographic realm, tends to altar skin tones towards an unrealistic pink hue, film is frequently developed to avoid the color orange in its spectrum. Through the use of an orange filter, this piece captures a range of orange shades through layering papers, sheets and gels.

"Our initial aim was to approach the color of overalls worn by prisoners at Guantanamo Bay...At the same time, we are confronted with nationalist sympathies gaining importance in post-populist neo-conservative Holland on a daily basis. While Dutch immigration policies reached an unprecedented ideological extreme as the Balkenende administration came to an agreement in February 2004 to expel 26,000 illegal immigrants from the country, popularity polls indicated 84% approval among Dutch citizens of monarchy as the ideal form of state. Not since World War II has there been such interest in Queen Beatrix and her family, the House of Orange."

Bouquet IV, which consists of a specific flower arrangement, as well as a black and white photograph of the arrangement in a matte aluminum frame, "was organized so that its colors in black and white reproduction translate into a relatively small range of grey-shades, resulting in an even spread of tones from which high contrasts and extremes on either side of the spectrum are excluded." This conceptual play on the black and white image, which is typical of traditional photography, also characterizes the works Light Study V and Light Study VI.

De Rijke / de Rooij make work that revolves around questions of representation relating to imagery taken from cultural and historical artifacts, socio-political forms, as well as images from both media and artistic sources. Through the use of photographic images, and the play of reality and virtuality, the artists blur the lines between what is seen and what is perceived.

The artists have been working together since 1994. Their collaborative work has been the focus of gallery, museum, and institutional shows in the United States and throughout Europe. Recently, their film, Mandarin Ducks, was featured in the Dutch pavilion at the 2005 Venice Biennale and they were nominated for the 2005 Hugo Boss prize. In late 2005, they had exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and Vienna Secession, Austria.

Jeroen de Rijke was born in 1970 in Brouwershaven, Holland, and Willem de Rooij was born in 1969 in Beverwijk, Holland. Jeroen de Rijke and Willem de Rooij both studied at the Rietveld Akademie and then the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. The artists currently live and work in Amsterdam.

The exhibition will open in Friedrich Petzel's new gallery space on January 19, with a reception from 6-8 p.m. and will be on view through February 18. For further information, please contact the gallery at, or call (212) 680-9467.