From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Willink was born in Amsterdam, the eldest son of the mechanic Jan Willink and Wilhelmina Altes. His father was an amateur artist who encouraged his son to paint.
After a brief study of medicine, Willink in 1918 and 1919 studied architecture at a technical college in Delft. Afterwards he left for Germany, where he was rejected for the academy in Düsseldorf. He later studied for a short time at the Staatliche Hochschule in Berlin.
Willink's earliest paintings were in an expressionist manner, although he also painted abstract works at the time that he exhibited with the November group in 1923. By 1924 he had adopted a figurative style influenced by Picasso's neoclassical paintings of the early 1920s, and especially by Léger. Later in the decade, Willink developed a magic realist style related to the metaphysical paintings of Giorgio de Chirico.
From 1935 until his death Willink lived in Amsterdam. His realistically rendered paintings frequently represent slightly disquieting scenes taking place in front of imposing buildings. He also painted many portraits.