Born in Hague, Netherlands, in 1932, Willem de Looper came to Washington DC in 1950 and studied fine art at American University.

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, de Looper worked without brushes. He eschewed graphic gesture and flooded his canvases with layer after layer of  dramatically thinned acrylic paint, presenting atmospheric imagery without any reference beyond a purely visual experience. These immensely rich Color Field paintings were shown at Jefferson Place Gallery, the home to other great artists of the Washington Color School. De Looper has been exhibited and collected by many established museums such as the National Gallery of Art, The Phillips Collection, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC. Outside of his studio, de Looper worked his way from museum guard to chief curator at the Phillips Collection, Washington DC.