Erik van Lieshout
through December 31, 2007
Read the NY Times review.
Erik van Lieshout is one of Holland's most prominent artists and his provocative works treat sex, violence, politics, and commercial culture with equal humor, candor, and irreverence. His MASS MoCA exhibition will include a selection of video and works on paper.
Trained as a painter, van Lieshout became well-known in the 1990s for his expressionistic canvases and large-scale drawings which merge graphic images of drugs, pornography, and street culture with a range of media figures including Burka-clad women, Batman, and Snoop Dogg. In 1997 van Lieshout began making the simply-crafted sculptures and video installations that now round out his multi-media practice. Van Lieshout places himself directly in the center of his videos using his experience as a crucible to interpret the complex psychology of a nation grappling with immigration, tolerance, colonialism, and sexuality.
The videos on view at MASS MoCA -- Lariam (2001),UP! (2005), and his newest project filmed in the United States -- touch on the influence of hip-hop and the cultural exchanges between Holland and Ghana and the artist's own internal struggles with work and family. Each video is presented within a particular viewing environment designed by van Lieshout. Using his signature, unfinished materials, including cardboard, vinyl tarps, duct tape, and plywood, the artist creates intimate installations that incorporate the viewer more actively into the work, altering the standard modes of reception, while poking fun at the legacy of the highly polished image of Dutch design and architecture. Further subverting the museum-goer's usual viewing experience, the artist will install Lariam in a shipping container in the front courtyard of the MASS MoCA complex.
The exhibition is presented as part of NL: A Season of Dutch Arts in the Berkshires
NL: A Season of Dutch Arts in the Berkshires is coordinated by the Department of Press and Cultural Affairs at the Consulate General of The Netherlands in New York and Service Centre for International Cultural Activities (SICA) in Amsterdam. Initial funding for NL was provided by The Netherlands Culture Fund through SICA. Additional funding has been provided by the Fund for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture and the Mondriaan Foundation.