Salone del Mobile Milano

Lily van der Stokker. Friendly Good

This fall the Stedelijk Museum presents a survey of the work, including wall paintings and drawings, produced by Lily van der Stokker in the last thirty years. The exhibition Lily van der Stokker - Friendly Good is her most extensive presentation in a museum so far.

Lily van der Stokker’s art is synonymous with colour, joy, spontaneity, genuineness and, sometimes, ingenuity. A cross between the aesthetic of Agatha Ruiz De La Prada and the poetics of Pascoli’s “eternal child.” It’s a breath of fresh air, cloying at times, so be it, but it allows us to look at the world, simply and serenely, through the eyes of a child.

Van der Stokker’s visual language of flowers, looping lines, clouds and curlicues in bold, bright colors, raises questions about what we regard as typically feminine. Her work can be placed in the tradition of feminist art, which does not conform to prevailing standards of good taste. As such, she often exploits concepts that are ‘banned’ from contemporary art, such as the frivolous and decorative. Her style can be quite challenging to people, because there is a set way of thinking about art, and she is doing something which is completely different. 

Curator Leontine Coelewij said: “Lily van der Stokker has developed an extensive and idiosyncratic oeuvre composed of exuberant, decorative drawings and gigantic wall paintings. Her work refers to beauty, friendship and friendliness, as well as everyday chores like house-cleaning, clearing up, and visits to the doctor. Her work makes no attempt at either irony or cynicism.”

Often incorporating words and phrases, van der Stokker’s work is firmly rooted in the tradition of conceptual art. Similar to her conceptual forbears (Joseph Kosuth, Lawrence Weiner, Robert Barry), van der Stokker uses text to explore the essence of art, although as she does so, asks very different questions. Can artists show failures? Is it alright for art to be untrue? Or funny and sweet?

Van der Stokker says of herself: "I am a beauty specialist. I have commissioned myself to research happiness and friendliness in my artwork, and with that I take a stand against irony and cynicism."

Lily van der Stokker. Friendly Good.

Stedelijk Museum
Museumplein 10
1071 DJ Amsterdam

27 Oct 2018 until 24 Feb 2019


01. Friendly Good, 1992, Grey Art Gallery, New York
02. Extremely Experimental Art by Older People, 2000, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
03. Easy Fun, 2003, Kosterfelde, Berlin
04. Grandmother van der Stokker, 2004, Feature Inc., New York
05. I am an artwork and I am 3 years old, 2004, Feature Inc., New York
06. Boterhammen met hagelslag (Sandwiches with chocolate sprinkles), 2007, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
07. Transfer that money to me, 2010, Art Features/Art Basel
08. Huh (exhibition Koenig & Clinton, New York), 2014. 
Photo: Jeffrey Sturges, Brooklyn, USA
09. The Tidy Kitchen (detail), 2015, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles