Louise Alexander Gallery | AF PROJECTS

Porto Cervo, Italy 05/07/2017 — 02/09/2017
Folkert de Jong ‘A State of Light’, 5 July – 2 September 2017, Porto Cervo

Louise Alexander Gallery is pleased to announce that the gallery now represents Dutch artist Folkert de Jong, and is delighted to present A State of Light, his first solo exhibition at the gallery.

Folkert de Jong is famous for his masterful sculptures and installations arising from a strong fascination for the psychological and bodily human condition. Grotesque figures, grinning or expressionlessly staring, form theatrical tableaux. Folkert de Jong is interested in the transformation of cultural symbols and historical figures and a sculptural potential to re-examine existing narratives.

In particular, Folkert de Jong’s signature style is formed by his idiosyncratic use of insulation materials such as candy-coloured polyurethane and Styrofoam. A choice that was not simply an anti-hierarchical gesture, as these materials are pollutants and their effects on the environment radically detrimental. Folkert de Jong boldly merges the subject matter of his sculptures with their material, implicating issues of morality and self-destruction.

For his first show at Louise Alexander Gallery, Folkert de Jong has developed a new series of bronzes, based on the 19-century idea of bronze casting as a medium to create monuments that are empowered with the ability to remember the immortal life of historical figures.
The central pieces titled Federov’s Ribbon, exhibit A and B, depicting a male and female figure facing each other in a duel. The work is based on the fatal injury of Alexander Pushkin in a duel with his brother-in-law Georges-Charles de Heeckeren d’Anthès who attempted to seduce the poet’s wife, Natalia Pushkina.
The motive of the duel, and the naive idea of ​​perfect love between man and woman that is being disturbed by deceit and ends in death is for Folkert the beginning of the idea that death and dissaster is a natural process of evolution.
Federov’s Ribbon, exhibit A and B, continues on the ideas of the Russian Orthodox Christian philosopher Nikolai Fyodorovich Fyodorov who was part of the Russian cosmism movement and a precursor of Transhumanism. Fyodorov advocated radical life extension, physical immortality and even resurrection of the dead, using scientific methods.

Throughout The State of Light; other objects, more familiar from historical traditions, are also subject to the bronze casting process, for example fruits as seen in a Cézanne still life such as the Nihilist Table or a chair with a seat of woven caning as in a Picasso painting, Act of Despair. Theatricality and playfulness crept into the foundry in the form of an inanimate vaudeville of walking canes, boater hats, animals and piles of paper cups. An Armada of model galleons, Mineral World were created alongside sculptures of outmoded technologies such as a phonograph, Last Definition of Ideas.

About the artist

Folkert de Jong (1972, Egmond aan Zee, NL) studied at the Academy for Visual Arts and the Rijksakademie for Visual Arts in Amsterdam. In 2003 he was nominated for the Prix de Rome for Sculpture. Recent solo exhibitions include: ‘Weird Science’, Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, NL, (2017), ‘Totemism’, monCHÉRI, Brussels, Belgium (2017), ‘Court of Justice’, Galerie Fons Welters, Amsterdam (2015); ‘The Holy Land’, James Cohan Gallery, New York, USA (2015); ‘Actus Tragicus’, Luis Adelantado, Mexico City, MX (2015); ‘Hominid Lands’, Musee d’Evreux, FR (2014); ‘The Holy Land’, Hepworth Wakefield, UK (2014); ‘Amabilis insania. The pleasing delusion’, Middelheim Museum, Antwerp, BE (2013). Furthermore his work recently featured in: The Busan Biennale (2016), ‘The Best of Times, The Worst of Times’, Picasso in Contemporary Art, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, DE (2015); ‘The Anatomy Lesson’, Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, NL (2013); ‘The shape of things to come: new sculpture’, Saatchi Gallery London, UK (2011); The 17th Biennale of Sydney: ‘The Beauty of Distance: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age’, AU

Louise Alexander Gallery

Louise Alexander Gallery is a contemporary art gallery based in Porto Cervo, Italy. It was founded in 2008 by Frederic and Ayse Arnal representing a multifaceted group of internationally acknowledged artists including Enrique Martinez Celaya, Barry X Ball, Marco Tirelli and The Guy Bourdin Estate.

Exploring beyond the boundaries of a typical gallery framework with a diverse and polymorphic approach encompassing all forms of creativity including performance as well as pluralistic art forms in paint, photography, sculpture, etc.

Louise Alexander Gallery established itself within a remote location in Aga Khan’s architectural vernacular resort, Porto Cervo in Sardinia as the first contemporary space to join a new cultural platform initiative to contain contemporary art and design.

The gallery has created a reputation of presenting comprehensive exhibitions and projects where it is least expected, remaining faithful to its evolving spirit of it’s ‘nomadic’ model guided by the seasons, the international art scene and it’s desires.

For further press information and enquiries please contact:
Louise Alexander Gallery
Via Aga Khan, 1
Porto Cervo
Tel: +44 (0)7809030121

Selected works