Lily van der Stokker - Terrible

Lily van der Stokker, Why Do It, 2010, Acrylic paint on wall and mixed media. Photo: Hans Wilschut
Lily van der Stokker, Why Do It, 2010, Acrylic paint on wall and mixed media. Photo: Hans Wilschut

Lily van der Stokker - Terrible
6 March - 13 June 2010

Lily van der Stokker has made ‘Terrible’, two three-dimensional wall paintings, especially for Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. In this series about ugliness, she calls beauty into question.

The Dutch artist Lily van der Stokker (1954, den Bosch) works in a drawing-like way with fluorescent colours, short, catchy texts and decorative shapes. She starts by making compositions in small sizes and then allows them to expand and play with (public) space. She has made the three-dimensional wall-filling works ‘Terrible’ and ‘Why Do It’ especially for the Willem van der Vorm Gallery in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Short texts
Van der Stokker’s works are essentially friendly and optimistic. However, all the frivolity of the colourful pictures conceals a critical attitude. In the short texts that form part of her works she responds to the events in her life and to topical themes in the art world. One example is ‘The Nagger’s Club’, a series of wall paintings about arguments and money with texts like, ‘Rather a rotten way to treat an artist’.

A question of beauty
According to Van der Stokker, who calls herself a ‘feminist conceptual pop artist’, art doesn’t always have to be about beautiful things. In her discussions about beauty the reverse also emerges—ugliness. The ugly, the horrible and the negative have an equal standing in her work. Yet conversely Van der Stokker does not employ these aspects without pleasure and they are given curls, lavish decorations and frills. Van der Stokker made several drawings and murals on the subject of ugliness. A critic who once called her ‘the worst artist in the Netherlands’ inspired her to lay it on even thicker—the result was ‘Terrible’. Van der Stokker remarked, ‘People don’t expect you to do ugly things in a museum.’

Lily van der Stokker has produced murals in numerous museums, galleries and art institutes in the Netherlands, Europe and America. This is the second time that Van der Stokker has decorated the walls of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. The exhibition is a perfect accompaniment to the current presentation of contemporary drawings, where the museum reflects upon its recent purchases.

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