October 22, 2013 - Middelheim Museum - Folkert de Jong at Middelheim Museum
October 22, 2013

Folkert de Jong at Middelheim Museum

Folkert de Jong, Queen Mary (detail), 2013. Courtesy Galerie Andre Simoens Knokke, Galerie Fons Welters Amsterdam, James Cohan Gallery New York. Photo: Studio Folkert de Jong.

Folkert de Jong
Amabilis insania
(The Pleasing Delusion)

26 October 2013–6 April 2014

Middelheim Museum
Middelheimlaan 61
2020 Antwerp


Folkert de Jong became famous in the last decade for the masterful sculptures that can be found in exclusive collections around the world. In 2006, when he was still relatively unknown, he took part in the Long Live Sculpture! (Lang Leve Beeldhouwkunst!) group exhibition at the Middelheim Museum. He was back a year later for a residency. And now, the open-air museum is offering de Jong a solo project, for which he is creating a display with new bronze figures.

The figurative installations devised by de Jong, which are anchored in the (often mysterious) history or meaning of a location, combine an ironic reference to the Old Masters with a large dose of the present. The dark side of human nature is the driving force behind this Dutch artist’s work, like his fascination with the opposition between pomp and circumstance on the one hand and the obscene reverse side of the display of power.

With regard to materials, Folkert de Jong usually goes for mass-produced substances rarely found in art, like polystyrene or composite foam. They are not meant to be eternal, neither are they environmentally friendly: precisely the unsettling properties that interest the artist. The worthless material is given huge appeal thanks to the precise execution of the work and the smart use of colour.

For his exhibition at the Middelheim Museum, de Jong has chosen to create a display of eleven new bronze sculptures, both figures and still lifes, that will be visible in and around the Het Huis (The House) exhibition pavilion. At first glance the arrangement looks very classical, but upon closer inspection it seems to have a disruptive effect on the harmony of the sculpture park. The artist connects timelessness with decay, art history with current affairs, freedom with compulsion.

From 26 October through 6 April 2014
Location: the exhibition pavilion Het Huis (The House)
Opening exhibition Saturday 26 October, 14.30h, performance Folkert de Jong + Tol/Cogan, 15h
Catalogue: Bilingual Dutch/English publication 
Introduction film (castle)
Free visitor guide

Artist talk
An exclusive artist talk will be given by Folkert de Jong on Saturday morning, 26 October.

On Saturday, 26 October at 11h
Location: T.105 Auditorium, Groenenborger campus of Antwerp University (UA), Groenenborgerlaan 171, 2020 Antwerp
Entrance: free of charge; register via middelheimmuseum [​at​] stad.antwerpen.be stating “registration for artist talk”
The artist talk will be held in Dutch

The Plinth #6
At the same time that he is putting together his solo exhibition for the Middelheim Museum, the Dutch artist is also creating a piece for De Sokkel #6 (The Plinth #6). For De Conference Act, he gained inspiration from street artists (such as jugglers), who come up with the most spectacular tricks to attract the attention of passersby.

With their contemporary art project ‘De Sokkel’ (The Plinth), the neighbourhood association Klein Antwerpen (Little Antwerp) and the Middelheim Museum invite a(n) (inter)national artist to produce a topical piece on an empty plinth in the Stadspark (City park) twice a year. The artists’ works not only stir up the discussion on the role of art in public spaces, but also positively draw the public’s attention to the historical City park. Other artists who have successfully worked on De Sokkel project in the past are Henk Visch (NL), Ria Pacquée (BE), Cristian Bors & Marius Ritiu (RO), André Romão (PT) and Ilaria Lupo (IT).

From 6 October to 20 April 2014
Location: at the Stadspark (City park) between the playground and the skatepark, Quinten Matsyslei, 2000 Antwerp
De Sokkel #6 (The Plinth #6) is a coproduction of the neighbourhood association Klein Antwerpen and the Middelheim Museum

For more information: www.middelheimmuseum.be

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