Video by the Hepworth Wakefield, Yorkshire, UK

 

Dutch Artist Folkert de Jong is best known for his theatrical, narrative tableaux that address themes of war, greed and power. “When I watch the news or follow the world by the media,” de Jong stated in conversation with critic Steven Cox in 2013, “I can’t believe what I am hearing and seeing, it seems like a déjà vu, something is repeating itself.” A sense of tragedy and absurdity, a comically desperate psychological state, permeates his work, particularly through the sculptural material for which de Jong became known: industrial Styrofoam and Polyurethane insulation foams. Harsh and rough with heightened expressive power in material and theme, de Jong’s figures embody a grotesque horror and macabre humor reminiscent of the work of the 20th century European artists Georges Grosz and James Ensor.

 

Visit the Artist's Website

image
Museum Exhibition
Folkert de Jong at Musée d'Évreux
Solo Exhibition
November 15, 2014 - March 15, 2015
Évreux, France
image
Museum Exhibition
Folkert de Jong at Hepworth Wakefield
Solo Exhibition
October 1, 2014 - January 26, 2015
Wakefield, United Kingdom
image
Museum Exhibition
Folkert de Jong at Villa Empain
Group Exhibition
September 25, 2014 - February 8, 2015
Brussels, Belgium
image The New York Times
Articles / Reviews
The New York Times
"The Making of Folkert de Jong's Synthetic, Sculptural Costumes for the Wooster Group," by Tim Murphy
ArtworksThumbnails
image 1

FOLKERT DE JONG Old Sport, 2013 Patinated bronze 77 3/8 x 38 3/8 x 33 1/8 in. (198 x 99 x 85 cm) Ed. of 3

image 2

FOLKERT DE JONG Conference Act, 2013 Patinated bronze 78 11/16 x 23 9/16 x 19 5/8 in. (200 x 60 x 50 cm) Ed. of 3

image 3

FOLKERT DE JONG Actus Tragicus, 2013 Styrofoam, pigmented polyurethane foam, spray paint, rope, metal hanging hardware Dimensions variable

image 4

FOLKERT DE JONG Actus Tragicus, 2013 Styrofoam, pigmented polyurethane foam, spray paint, rope, metal hanging hardware Dimensions variable

image 5

FOLKERT DE JONG Actus Tragicus, 2013 Styrofoam, pigmented polyurethane foam, spray paint, rope, metal hanging hardware Dimensions variable

image 6
FOLKERT DE JONG Act of Despair (Thonet Version), 2013 Patinated bronze 59 x 19 1/4 x 19 1/4 inches
image 7
FOLKERT DE JONG Act of Despair (Thonet Version) detail, 2013 Patinated bronze 59 x 19 1/4 x 19 1/4 inches
image 8

FOLKERT DE JONG The Balance: Trader's Deal 2010 Styrofoam, pigmented polyurethane foam Dimensions variable

image 9

FOLKERT DE JONG The Balance: Trader's Deal 6, 2010 Styrofoam, pigmented polyurethane foam 83 x 46 x 34 in. (210.82 x 116.84 x 86.36 cm)

image 10

FOLKERT DE JONG The Balance: Trader's Deal 7 2010 Styrofoam, pigmented polyurethane foam 66 x 40 x 35 in. (167.64 x 101.6 x 88.9 cm)

image 11

FOLKERT DE JONG The Balance: Trader's Deal 8, 2010 Styrofoam, pigmented polyurethane foam 66 x 40 x 35 in. (167.64 x 101.6 x 88.9 cm)

image 12

FOLKERT DE JONG The Balance: Trader's Deal 9, 2010 Styrofoam, pigmented polyurethane foam 92 x 42 x 50 in. (233.68 x 106.68 x 127 cm)

image 13
FOLKERT DE JONG The Practice 'Take 13', 2010 Styrofoam, pigmented polyurethane foam, Euro pallet 57 1/2 x 40 1/2 x 37 3/4 inches
image 14

FOLKERT DE JONG Operation Harmony 2008 Styrofoam, pigmented polyurethane foam, pearls 133 7/8 x 275 5/8 x 90 1/2 in. (340 x 700 x 230 cm)

image 15

FOLKERT DE JONG Operation Harmony 2008 Styrofoam, pigmented polyurethane foam, pearls 133 7/8 x 275 5/8 x 90 1/2 in. (340 x 700 x 230 cm)

image 16

FOLKERT DE JONG Business As Usual: Early Years, 2008 Styrofoam, pigmented polyurethane foam Dimensions variable

image 17
FOLKERT DE JONG Business As Usual: "The Tower", 2008 Styrofoam, pigmented polyurethane foam 118 1/8 x 39 3/8 x 39 3/8 inches
image 18

FOLKERT DE JONG Business As Usual: Early Years #1, 2008 Styrofoam, pigmented polyurethane foam 45 1/4 x 51 1/8 x 31 1/2 in. (115 x 130 x 80 cm)
 

image 19

FOLKERT DE JONG Business As Usual: Early Years #2, 2008 Styrofoam, pigmented polyurethane foam 52 3/8 x 33 7/8 x 27 1/2 in. (133 x 86 x 70 cm)
 

image 20

FOLKERT DE JONG Business As Usual: Early Years #3, 2008 Styrofoam, pigmented polyurethane foam 56 1/4 x 27 1/2 x 45 1/4 in. (143 x 70 x 115 cm)

image 21

FOLKERT DE JONG Business As Usual: Early Years #4, 2008 Styrofoam, pigmented polyurethane foam 70 7/8 x 57 1/8 x 23 5/8 in. (180 x 145 x 60 cm)

image 22

FOLKERT DE JONG Business As Usual: Early Years #5, 2008 Styrofoam, pigmented polyurethane foam 64 5/8 x 32 5/8 x 55 7/8 in. (164 x 83 x 142 cm)

image 23

FOLKERT DE JONG Business As Usual: Early Years #6, 2008 Styrofoam, pigmented polyurethane foam 55 1/8 x 61 3/8 x 31 1/2 in. (140 x 156 x 80 cm)

image 24

FOLKERT DE JONG Business As Usual: Early Years #7, 2008 Styrofoam, pigmented polyurethane foam 48 3/8 x 56 3/4 x 33 1/8 in. (123 x 144 x 84 cm)

image 25
FOLKERT DE JONG The Drummer, 2007 Styrofoam, adhesive 78 3/4 x 39 3/8 x 39 3/8 inches
image 26
FOLKERT DE JONG Hail the One, 2007 Styrofoam, pigmented polyurethane foam 86 5/8 x 27 1/2 x 27 1/2 inches
image 27
FOLKERT DE JONG Jack is Back, 2007 Styrofoam, pigmented polyurethane foam 66 7/8 x 19 5/8 x 19 5/8 inches
image 28
FOLKERT DE JONG Busines As Usual: Double Happiness, 2008 Sytrofoam, pigmented polyurethane foam, pearls 79 1/2 x 41 x 59 inches
image 29
FOLKERT DE JONG Submission: The Slave Trader, 2006 Styrofoam, adhesive 70 X 39 X 39 inches
image 30
FOLKERT DE JONG Halleluja, 2007 Styrofoam, adhesive 100 X 70 X 178 cm
image 31
FOLKERT DE JONG Halleluja [detail], 2007 Styrofoam, adhesive 100 X 70 X 178 cm
image 32
FOLKERT DE JONG Golden Smile, 2007 BASF Styrodur, Austrotherm, polyurethane foam, Liquid plastic, artificial gemstones Dimensions variable
image 33
FOLKERT DE JONG Golden Smile - Eva, 2007 BASF Styrodur, Austrotherm, polyurethane foam, Liquid plastic, artificial gemstones 65 3/8 x 53 1/2 x 65 inches
image 34
Folkert de Jong Seht der Mensch (The Shooting Lesson), 2007 Styrofoam, Polyurethane foam, pigment Approx. 800 x 800 x 400 cm
image 35
Folkert de Jong Seht der Mensch (The Shooting Lesson), 2007 Styrofoam, Polyurethane foam, pigment Approx. 800 x 800 x 400 cm
image 36
FOLKERT DE JONG Gott Mit Uns, 2007 Styrofoam, adhesive Dimensions variable Photo: Jesse Harris
image 37
FOLKERT DE JONG Gott Mit Uns, 2007 Styrofoam, adhesive Dimensions variable Photo: Jesse Harris
image 38

FOLKERT DE JONG Gott Mit Uns, 2007 Styrofoam, adhesive Dimensions variable Photo: Jesse Harris

Artist BioDownload Bio English PDF
image

Folkert de Jong is best known for his theatrical, narrative tableaux that address themes of war, greed and power. “When I watch the news or follow the world by the media,” de Jong stated in conversation with critic Steven Cox in 2013, “I can’t believe what I am hearing and seeing, it seems like a déjà vu, something is repeating itself.” A sense of tragedy and absurdity, a comically desperate psychological state, permeates his work, particularly through the sculptural material for which de Jong became known: industrial Styrofoam and Polyurethane insulation foams. Harsh and rough with heightened expressive power in material and theme, de Jong’s figures embody a grotesque horror and macabre humor reminiscent of the work of the 20th century European artists Georges Grosz and James Ensor. As critic Gregory Volk has remarked, de Jong’s sculptures “communicate a range of emotions, or really complex states of being; stalwart purpose, mania, fanaticism, humor, malevolence, sadness, delusion, introspection, and even tenderness occur simultaneously. You surmise, and the title certainly tips you off, that there is something sinister and dangerous about this goofy parade, but then again you can't dismiss these figures as mere symbols; they are too psychologically complex, too close to the bone.”

image

De Jong began working in bronze in 2012, and made his formal full debut in the medium for the solo exhibition Amabilis Insania: The Pleasing Delusion at the Middelheim Museum, Antwerp, in 2013-14. The addition of bronze to de Jong’s sculptural language represents an engagement with mortality, monumentality and world history that is more nuanced and less visceral than the use of modern synthetic compounds that defined the first 15 years of the artist’s practice.

 

Folkert de Jong was born in 1972 in Egmond aan Zee, The Netherlands, and studied at the Academy for Visual Arts and the Rijksakademie for Visual Arts in Amsterdam. He was awarded the Prix de Rome for Sculpture in 2003 and was featured in The Best of Times, The Worst of TImes: The First Kiev International Biennale of Contemporary Art, Ukraine, 2013, the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art, Scotland, 2012, The 17th Biennale of Sydney: The Beauty of Distance: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age, Australia, 2010 and in Destroy Athens, Athens Biennial, Greece, 2007. Recent solo exhibitions include: 2013, Amabilis Insania: The Pleasing Delusion, Middelheim Museum, Antwerp, Belgium, Un Vie d’Illusions, Musée d’art Contemporain, Rocheouart, France, Actus Tragicus, MUDAM Museum, Luxembourg, Folkert de Jong, Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon; 2012, Vitrine de la Maison du Peuple, Clichy, France; 2011, Operation Harmony, James Cohan Gallery, New York; 2009, Mount Maslow, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, New York, The Shooting, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut, Circle of Trust: Selected Works 2001-2009, Groninger Museum, Groningen, The Netherlands, One Thousand Years of Business as Usual, James Cohan Gallery, Shanghai.

Exhibitions
image
Gallery Exhibition
Folkert de Jong
Operation Harmony
April 01 - May 07, 2011
New York
image
Gallery Exhibition
Folkert de Jong
一如既往 Thousand Years Business As Usual
November 14, 2008 - January 17, 2009
Shanghai
image
Gallery Exhibition
Xu Zhen, Folkert de Jong, and Martha Colburn
September 06 - October 04, 2008
New York
image
Gallery Exhibition
Folkert de Jong
Les Saltimbanques
October 20 - November 24, 2007
New York
image
Gallery Exhibition
Summer Show
July 17 - August 10, 2007
New York
Press / Media
Articles / Reviews
Artnet News
"artnet Asks: Folkert de Jong," by Lorraine Rubio
Articles / Reviews
The Yorkshire Post
"Show that explores the art 
of war"
image Sculpture Magazine
Articles / Reviews
Sculpture Magazine
“Folkert de Jong: Middelheim Museum, Antwerp”
image The Los Angeles Times
Articles / Reviews
The Los Angeles Times
"Folkert de Jong's 'scary and beautiful' costumes for CRY, TROJANS!" by Karen Wada
image The New York Times
Articles / Reviews
The New York Times
"The Making of Folkert de Jong's Synthetic, Sculptural Costumes for the Wooster Group," by Tim Murphy
image Modern Painters
Articles / Reviews
Modern Painters
“The Alchemist Folkert de Jong Transforms Materials and History,” by Scott Indrisek
Articles / Reviews
Daily Serving
"An Interview with Folkert de Jong," by Michael Tomeo
Articles / Reviews
Art in America
“Fate’s Carnival,” by Lilly Wei
Articles / Reviews
Sculpture
"Confronting the Grotesque: A Conversation with Folkert de Jong," by Michael Amy
Articles / Reviews
Beautiful Decay
"Folkert de Jong," by Marc LeBlanc
Articles / Reviews
New York Times
"Folkert de Jong: Les Saltimbanques," by Benjamin Genocchio
News
image
Museum Exhibition
Solo Exhibition
November 15, 2014 - March 15, 2015
Évreux, France
image
Museum Exhibition
Solo Exhibition
October 1, 2014 - January 26, 2015
Wakefield, United Kingdom
image
Museum Exhibition
Group Exhibition
September 25, 2014 - February 8, 2015
Brussels, Belgium
image
Museum Exhibition
Group Exhibition
March 6 - June 29, 2014
Barcelona, Spain
image
News / Events
West Coast Premiere at REDCAT
Feb 27 - Mar 9, 2014
REDCAT, Los Angeles, CA
image
News / Events
US premiere
January 8 - February 2, 2014
New York, New York
image
Museum Exhibition
Solo Exhibition
October 26, 2013 - April 6, 2014
Antwerp, Belgium
image
Museum Exhibition
Solo Exhibition
March 23 - September 8, 2013
Luxembourg
image
Museum Exhibition
Solo Exhibition
January 5 - June 23, 2013
Portland, Oregon
image
Museum Exhibition
Solo Exhibition
April 4 - May 7, 2012
Glasgow, Scotland
Books
image Folkert de Jong - Circle of Trust
Publication
Folkert de Jong - Circle of Trust
Selected Works 2001 - 2009
image Folkert de Jong - Les Saltimbanques
Publication
Folkert de Jong - Les Saltimbanques
image Folkert de Jong - Gott Mit Uns
Publication
Folkert de Jong - Gott Mit Uns
Editions
image Folkert de Jong Poster
Edition
Folkert de Jong Poster