Kinke Kooi: The Male Part of the Flower
April 6–May 18, 2024
Opening Reception: Saturday, April 6 from 3–5pm

Adams and Ollman is pleased to announce The Male Part of the Flower, an exhibition of new works on paper by Kinke Kooi, her second with the gallery. On view will be a group of mixed media works that explore interconnectedness, non-duality, and transformation. 

A steadfast visionary, Kooi has continued throughout her forty-year career to seek physical and spiritual communion within her work by complicating binaries and engaging the joy to be found in sensory exploration. Male and female, flora and fauna, sharp and soft, good taste and bad—within these poles nest infinite complexity. The connections and distances contained within are expanded and contracted to create tension, both visually and metaphorically. For Kooi, this fertile spectrum is where insight and truth lie. Using colored pencil, markers, ink, gouache, and found objects, Kooi creates fleshy cavities with deep interiorities that are decorated with an intense and seemingly infinite repetition of orbs resembling pearls, ova, or dew drops. Ruffled edges call to mind endometrial folds or ribbons, while glistening strawberries and thorn-like spikes flood the frame, interpolating their referents with joyful abandon. Kooi often adds found objects to the surface of the paper; costume jewelry, buttons, and clasps play off anatomical forms—nipples, facial hair, ovaries, epithelia—creating tactile reference points and offering dimensional metaphor that hints at the ways visual, material, and intuitive understanding intersect.

The works featured in The Male Part of the Flower explore interiority and exteriority as they relate to the complimentary generative forces of reproduction as they are often imagined—the acted and acted upon, giving and receiving, the bright and the dark. For Kooi, these qualities are necessarily intertwined in all life forms, existing only in concert. In Matchy-Matchy, 2023, nascent life emerges from tiny pearl-like cocoons embedded in a tender, fleshy interior. The deep pinks that Kooi uses are pungent in their richness, and speak to the multisensory flush of blood that spurs the creation of new life. In the center of this uterine nest is an intricate filigree bracelet, bejeweled with faceted pink stones that refract light that is otherwise absorbed by the soft paper—another example of Kooi’s finesse at integrating binaries. In the exhibition’s titular piece, several stamens, the male reproductive organs of a flowering plant, swirl downward from a soft shell-like pink flower, its fleshy petals draping around their emergence like an elegant cloak, or perhaps the drawn curtains of a stage. This graceful combination of interrelated gendered aspects gets at the heart of Kooi’s transgressive inquisition: that when taken together perceived opposites are in fact engaged in an symbiotic dance of interrelation, one that is rich and complex.

Kinke Kooi (b. 1961, Leeuwarden, Netherlands; lives and works in Arnhem, Netherlands) attended the Academy for the Visual Arts in Arnhem. She has had solo exhibitions at the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden, Netherlands and the Museum of Modern Art in Arnhem, Netherlands, and has participated in group exhibitions at The Drawing Center, New York, NY; Kunstverein Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany; CAPC Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France; Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, CA; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA; Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands; and the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT, among other venues. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands; Arnhem Museum, Arnhem, Netherlands; Rijksmuseum Twente, Enschede, Netherlands; Fries Museum, Leeuwarden, Netherlands; and the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY.


Kinke Kooi
The Male Part of the Flower, 2024
acrylic, colored pencil, gouache and ink on paper
7 7/8h x 7 7/8w in
20h x 20w cm

Kinke Kooi
Why do Men have Nipples, 2019
acrylic, colored pencil, gouache and press studs on paper
16 3/4h x 15 15/16w in
42.55h x 40.48w cm

Kinke Kooi
Celebrating Vanity, 2021
acrylic, colored pencil, gouache and  necklace on paper
12 7/16h x 7 7/8w in
31.59h x 20w cm

Kinke Kooi
Matchy-Matchy 2, 2024
acrylic, colored pencil, gouache and found earring on paper
14 9/16h x 9 1/16w in
36.99h x 23.02w cm

Kinke Kooi
Matchy-Matchy, 2023
acrylic, colored pencil, gouache, plastic, bracelet and ink on paper
9 7/16h x 9 1/4w in
23.97h x 23.50w cm

Kinke Kooi
Meditation on Hospitality, 2023
acrylic, colored pencil, gouache and collage on paper
11 13/16h x 9 1/16w in
30h x 23.02w cm

Kinke Kooi
Self Reflection 2, 2024
acrylic, colored pencil and gouache on paper
10 1/4h x 10 1/4w in
26.04h x 26.04w cm

Kinke Kooi
Self Reflection, 2024
acrylic, colored pencil and gouache on paper
14 15/16h x 14 9/16w in
37.94h x 36.99w cm