Artist: Lily van der Stokker
Venue: Air de Paris, Paris
Exhibition Title: Hello Chair
Date: May 24 – July 18, 2014
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Air de Paris, Paris
At first sight Lily Van Der Stokker’s work seems to display a certain irony, but what ultimately emerges is a kind of irreverence. This distancing – this conceptual detachment – underlies the enthusiastically espoused, chromatically acidic flower power of wall paintings like Happy, Friendly Love, Kissy and Wonderful and the sardonic optimism of I’m Ugly, How Sad for You, How Pitiful and What a Rude Way to Treat Artists. Impatient with the pecking orders and classifications of art and decoration, she stands the famed Minimalist maxim ‘Less is More’ on its head and comes up with the much more apt ‘The More the Better’. For instance her Hello Chair – source of the exhibition’s title – temporarily covers a large part of Air de Paris’ walls and the floor with its welcoming message, but installations like these turn out to be not all that ephemeral: they might be painted over when the show closes, but they live on right there in the gallery walls. So these three new works have come here to hook up with their predecessors, themselves specially created for Air de Paris. In a recent interview Lily Van Der Stokker mentioned the belief in modernism that sprang up among artists – most of them New York-based – in the early 90s; it went on to become slightly superficial and dropped out of fashion, but if modernism has stopped being the driving force for artists, what do they have left? With its vision of a joyously static future, No Improvement, No Progress seems to challenge modernism’s inherent notions of progress and regression. And last but not least there’s the comforting, convivial Don’t Worry, Nothing Will Happen, a touch of consolation from the artist, perhaps, for an art world suffering from the constant chase after novelty. Or could it be that Lily Van Der Stokker just wants to show us the special affection she feels for the word ‘nothing’?
Lily Van Der Stokker’s work, and in particular her wall paintings, have been exhibited at major venues in France and elsewhere, including the New Museum, NY (2013), Tate St Ives, St Ives (2010), CAPC, Bordeaux (2008), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2007), ICA, London (2004), Centre Pompidou, Paris (2000) and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis(2000).