Folkert de Jong solo exhibition at the Portland Art Museum – Portland, OR

January 19th, 2013 by

Folkert de Jong, Operation Harmony, 2008, courtesy of Portland Art Museum, James Cohan Gallery and the artist

January 5 – April 21, 2013

The Portland Art Museum is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Folkert de Jong. Like a slap in the face, the sculptures of Dutch artist Folkert de Jong have an overwhelming immediacy of materiality and historically referenced imagery that is emotionally powerful and strangely sublime. Part jester, part moralist, de Jong has attracted international attention for his savagely dark figurative sculptures that combine references to art, world history, current events, and popular culture. The Museum presents two major sculptures and recent drawings that are best understood against the backdrop of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the worldwide economic crisis. Unsettlingly raw and lacking decorum, his Styrofoam and polyurethane foam works challenge our assumptions of high art and comfort with the conventions of human depiction in gruesome tableaus like Operation Harmony.

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Various Dutch artists in Global Navigators show at Wood Street Galleries, SPACE & 707 – Pittsburgh, PA

April 21st, 2012 by
Video Still. Nummer Acht, everything is going to be allright, Guido van der Werve. Photo: courtesy of the artist

Guido van der Werve, Nummer Acht: everything is going to be allright, 2008, courtesy Galerie Juliette Jongma and the artist

April 27 – June 10, 2012
Opening Reception and Gallery Crawl: Friday, April 27, 2012, 5:30pm-9:00pm
Artist talk with Peter Bogers and Marnix de Nijs at SPACE: Saturday, April 28, 2012, 1:30pm

For the Distinctively Dutch Festival a number of Dutch and Netherlands-based visual artists—including Peter Bogers, Mark Boulos, Gerard Holthuis, Geert Mul, Marnix de Nijs, Folkert de Jong, Guido van der Werve and Karen Sargsyan—will be featured in this exhibition that examines the very nature of global exploration. This contemporary Dutch expedition will traverse the terrains of the Internet and new media as well as mine the historical context of Dutch exploration.
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Press release: Pittsburgh Cultural Trust launches the Distinctively Dutch Festival – Pittsburgh, PA

January 18th, 2012 by

February 18 – May 20, 2012

[PITTSBURGH, PA] — The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, a nonprofit arts and economic development organization at the center of Downtown Pittsburgh’s revival, will host an array of U.S. and world premieres as part of an interdisciplinary arts festival: The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Distinctively Dutch Festival. Celebrating the culture and contemporary performing and visual arts from the Netherlands, the three-month festival will feature dance, theater, music, visual art, film, literature and architecture. Events will be held February 18-May 20, 2012, throughout Pittsburgh’s Cultural District, as well as at select venues, including MCG Jazz, City of Asylum/Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Library Lecture Hall, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and Carnegie Mellon University.

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Folkert de Jong in group exhibition at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis – St. Louis, MO

May 20th, 2011 by

Folkert de Jong, Operation Harmony, James Cohan Gallery, 2011 (exhibition view), courtesy James Cohan Gallery and the artist

May 20 – August 14, 2011

The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis is pleased to present Cryptic: The Use of Allegory in Contemporary Art with a Master Class from Goya. This group exhibition features sculptures, paintings, and videos by six international contemporary artists-Folkert de Jong, Hiraki Sawa, Allison Schulnik, Dana Schutz, Javier Tellez, and Erika Wanenmacher-and the Spanish artist Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828).

Cryptic explores the way contemporary artists make use of allegory – a figurative mode of representation conveying meaning other than the literal – in a wide variety of media. The juxtaposition of recent works with examples from two series of prints by Goya, the Caprichos and the Disparates (also known as the Proverbs), is intended to prompt consideration of how artists over the years have "encrypted" difficult, uncomfortable, and often socio-politically loaded meanings within allegory and continue to do so in the present day. Particularly in light of recent global events, this exhibition offers a timely exploration of the role that contemporary artists play as commentators on the world around us.

Folkert de Jong, Operation Harmony, James Cohan Gallery, 2011 (exhibition view), courtesy James Cohan Gallery and the artist

About Folkert de Jong
Folkert de Jong (Dutch, b. 1972) is best-known for large-scale figurative sculptures rendered in polyurethane foam and paint that offer a biting, yet coded, critique of social mores, war, and religion in a manner not dissimilar to Goya’s work made 200 years prior.

Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
3750 Washington Blvd

St. Louis, MO 63108

Tel.: 314-535-4660

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Folkert de Jong solo exhibition at James Cohan Gallery – New York City

April 1st, 2011 by

Folkert de Jong, Operation Harmony, 2008, courtesy James Cohan Gallery and the artist

April 1 – May 7, 2011

James Cohan Gallery New York is pleased to welcome the return of Dutch sculptor Folkert de Jong for the artist’s third solo exhibition Operation Harmony. Following his solo exhibition last year at the Groninger Museum, his inclusion in the Sydney Biennial 2010 and in anticipation of the sculpture exhibition The Shape of Things to Come at the Saatchi Gallery opening in May, for which his work is the cover image, Folkert de Jong’s career has been firmly launched on the international stage.

Folkert de Jong, Jack is Black, 2007, courtesy James Cohan Gallery and the artist

De Jong employs the contemporary industrial materials Styrafoam and polyurethane foam, well understood for their inherent contradictory properties of cheapness and indestructibility, to create sculptural tableaux of what can be considered anti-monuments that conflate the past and the present.

There are two central works in the exhibition. The first is the monumental scale installation, Operation Harmony, 2008, measuring 23 feet long, which will be seen for the first time in the United States. This work is inspired by both Jan de Baen’s painting of the corpses of the de Witt brothers from 1672, which depicts the gruesome scene of the strung up bodies of two brothers executed for their political beliefs, and the "harmonious" grid structure found in Piet Mondrian’s modernist paintings. The title of the work Operation Harmony is borrowed from the optimistically named Canadian forces that were deployed in Bosnia in 1992 to help keep the peace. The artist has an unsettling ability to combine such period perfect details as lace neck ruffs from Vermeer’s Golden Age paintings, together with the dense blackness of the oozing "blood" and "charred" bodies that are spliced onto the sickly pink foam scaffold and the delicacy of the hand-carved teeth and eyes of the decapitated heads. De Jong, as the writer Lilly Wei aptly describes, "zooms in on the double-edged and cultivates contradictions. Combining the comedic and the grotesque, he leads viewers, with charming stealth, to contemplate the horrors that are so frequently his subject."

Folkert de Jong, The Balance 2: Trader’s Deal 8, 2010, courtesy James Cohan Gallery and the artist

The other central piece The Balance II, 2010 is second version of a work that de Jong created for the Sydney Biennial 2010. The tableau depicts Dutch traders swindling the Native Americans out of the island of Manhattan for beads and whiskey. The grinning traders are doing a jaunty dance as they balance on the artist’s signature industrial oil barrels and wooden pallets as they show off their wares. Writer Michaël Amy succinctly explains, "Long-established traditions are toppled by this irreverent young Dutchman, the works of cherished masters are hopelessly disgraced, and revered subjects are corrupted through and through. De Jong’s the tactless jester, part moralist, part sadistic clown, who holds a mirror up to our eyes." Among the other works on view in the exhibition will be Business as Usual: The Tower, 2008

Folkert de Jong, Hail the One, 2007, courtesy James Cohan Gallery and the artist

Recent solo exhibitions include the artist’s survey Circle of Trust Selected Works 2001-2009, Groeninger Museum, Belgium (2010); and The Shooting, Wandsworth Antheneum, Hartford, CT (2009); Mount Maslow, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, NY (2007); Gott Mit Uns, Kunsthalle Winterhur, Switzerland (2006); and Medusa’s First Move: The Council, Chisenhale Gallery, London (2005). Major international group exhibitions include the upcoming Cryptic: The Use of Allegory in Contemporary Art with a Master Class from Goya, CAM, St. Louis (2011); and the Shape of Things to Come: New Sculpture, The Saatchi Gallery, London (May 2011). Recent exhibitions include the 17th Bienniale of Sydney (2010); Hareng Saur: Ensor and Contemporary Art SMAK, Gent (2009); Innovations in the Third Dimension: Sculpture of Our Time, Bruce Museum, Greenwich, CT (2008); Destroy Athens, Athens Biennial (2007); and Fractured Figure, Works from the Dakis Joannou Collection, Deste Foundation, Athens (2007). Folkert de Jong lives and works in Amsterdam.

Folkert de Jong, The Balance 2, 2010, courtesy James Cohan Gallery and the artist

James Cohan Gallery
533 West 26th Street

New York, NY 10001

Tel.: 212-714-9500

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Fendry Ekel and Folkert de Jong, artist lecture series at Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art – Peekskill, NY

January 29th, 2010 by

Sunday, January 31, 4-6pm

The Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art organizes a presentation by Dutch artists Fendry Ekel and Folkert de Jong, moderated by Benjamin Genocchio, New York Times Art Critic. The artists will reflect on their own works as well as discuss the status of young art in the Netherlands.

Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art
1701 Main Street
PO Box 209
Peekskill, NY 10566
Tel: 914-788-0100

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