Brand New Gallery presents “And Nothing But the Truth” the second solo exhibition by Folkert de Jong at the gallery.
The exhibition’s title refers to the promise of a man to himself to continue to improve and to grow as a person. The idea of morality as a guide to tame chaos through technology and science in order to conquer death and decay at the expense of our human values.
Folkert de Jong departed from a picture that won the World Press Photo in 1974 that has been ingrained in his memory ever since he first saw it when he was just a child. The sequence of pictures taken by photographer Cor Mooijj, shows Formula One driver David Purley, walking away from the crashed and burning car with Roger Williamson still in it, after having attempted in vain to save his colleagues’ life. Mooij depicts the horrific moment in which Purley realizes there’s nothing he can do anymore, sadness, hatred, disbelief seem to flow through his body. The human drama, mortality and vulnerability of this moment and photo are closely connected to questions of guilt and responsibility that have occurred time and again in the works of Folkert de Jong. The motor suit as protection casing seems to carry a certain aura, seemingly making one invincible, only to realize that no outer protection can protect one from life’s course. In the works presented at the gallery, this notion of protection and vulnerability return in different guises.
De Jong is known for his idiosyncratic use of insulation materials such as polyurethane and Styrofoam. Recently, he has broadened his material palette. For instance with transparent Plexiglas vitrines, enclosing foam assemblages of body parts and objects, as if preserved in formaldehyde. Although the psychedelic, brightly coloured plastic seems to radiate light; it also hermetically seals off its contents and filters reality. Within these see-through walls, a transcendental experience might take place. While De Jong’s ‘reservoirs’ emphasise this theatrical effect of museum displays and refer to art historical uses of the vitrine, by the surrealists for instance, they also visualise a contemporary urge to conservation and immortality.
Folkert de Jong (b. 1972, Egmond aan Zee, NL) lives and works in Amsterdam, NL. De Jong has gained international fame through numerous solo and group shows in museums and galleries in Europe, Asia and the US. His works are present in important museums and collections around the world, including MoCA (Los Angeles), the Groninger Museum (Groningen), the Musée des Beaux Arts (Montréal), the Saatchi Collection (London), the Dakis Jannou Collection (Athens), the HVCCA Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art (New York) and the Margulies Art Collection (Miami). Recent solo exhibitions include: Court of Justice, Galerie Fons Welters (Amsterdam, 2015); The Holy Land, James Cohan Gallery (New York, 2015); Actus Tragicus, Luis Adelantado (Mexico City, 2015); Hominid Lands, Musee d’Evreux (Evreux, 2014). Recent group exhibitions include: Sonsbeek 2016, Park Sonsbeek(Arnhem, 2016); The Fields Sculpture Park, Omi International Arts Center (Ghent, 2016); In The Deep of the Surface; Ex Fabbrica Orobia (Milan, 2016); After Picasso: 80 Contemporary Artists, Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus, 2015); Full House, Kunsthalle Erfurt (Erfurt, 2015); Manifesten, Museum Kranenburgh (Bergen, 2016); Picasso in Contemporary Art, Deichtorhallen(Hamburg, 2015); Beastly Beauty, New York Academy of Art (New York, 2015); In Search of Meaning – The Human Image in Global Perspective, Museum de Fundatie (Zwolle, 2015). Folkert de Jong has been selected to participate to the next Busan Biennale (Korea, 2016).
- Folkert de Jong, Dream Catcher, 2014. Courtesy of Brand New Gallery and the artist
- Folkert de Jong, Immortal Longings (the Burning of Roger Williamson, Zandvoort Formula One 1973), 2016. Courtesy of Brand New Gallery and the artist
- Exhibition view of Folkert de Jong: And Nothing But the Truth, Brand New Gallery, Milan 2016. Courtesy of Brand New Gallery and the artist