Gallery talks — 21 Nov 2018

This autumn the Stedelijk Museum organizes a series of gallery talks on the occasion of the exhibition Lily van der Stokker – Friendly Good.
Museumticket + €3
Meeting point in the entrance hall, tour through the exhibition galleries
21 Nov 2018, 4 pm until 5 pm
Main language

The gallery talks are an opportunity to engage with an exhibition at a deeper level, under the guidance of an expert. The first speaker is Mirjam Westen. She will guide visitors along a personal selection of artworks from the exhibition.

In the autumn of 2018, the Stedelijk presents the first museum retrospective of Lily van der Stokker, featuring drawings and wall paintings dating from the late 1980s to the present. Some of the works were never shown in the Netherlands before. Friendly Good shows exuberant, decorative drawings and monumental wall paintings. Without irony or cynicism Van der Stokker refers to beauty, friendship and kindness, but also to everyday activities such as cleaning.

Friendly Good, 1992–2018 acrylic paint on wall, courtesy the artist. Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij
Friendly Good, 1992–2018 acrylic paint on wall, courtesy the artist. Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij

A characteristic of Van der Stokkers work is the unique position it occupies within the tradition of feminist and conceptual art: her work does not conform to prevailing norms about good taste. As such, she often exploits concepts that are ‘banned’ from contemporary art, such as the frivolous and decorative, making her art look sweet and innocent at first. The visitor who will have a second look, however, will discover that Van der Stokkers work contains a much more layered and committed message. These seemingly charming works contain a clear critical message, aimed directly at the viewer. Can artists show failures? Is it alright for art to be untrue and ugly? Or funny and sweet?

More about the speaker

Mirjam Westen is senior curator of contemporary art at Museum Arnhem. She studied art history at the University of Groningen and the University of Amsterdam. How art relates to societal issues, gender, cultural diversity and global art is a common theme throughout her exhibitions and publications. She has managed to express and develop her interest in this theme as a curator, art critic, editor and university lecturer.

In Arnhem she has organized solo exhibitions as well as national and international theme-based exhibitions such as Millennials (2016-2017), The Mirrored Eye. The Selfportrait in Dutch Art 1900-2015 (2015), Threads. Textile in art & design (2014), Female Power. Matriarchy, Spirituality, Utopia in Art (2013), and rebelle. Art & Feminism 1969-2009 (2009). For the group exhibition Vrij Spel (1993) and rebelle in Museum Arnhem, Lily van der Stokker painted murals on-site. In 2003, Westen organized the first major retrospective of the drawings by Lily van der Stokker, titled Beauty, Friendship and Old Age.

The Lily van der Stokker - Friendly Good exhibition has been realized thanks to the generous contribution of the International Collector Circle and the Curator Circle of the Stedelijk Museum Fonds.