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Middelheim Museum announces Folkert de Jong Amabilis insania (The Pleasing Delusion)

Middelheim Museum presents Folkert de Jong Amabilis insania (The Pleasing Delusion) an exhibition on view 26 October 2013–6 April 2014.

Folkert de Jong became famous in the last decade for the masterful sculptures that can be found in exclusive collections around the world. In 2006, when he was still relatively unknown, he took part in the Long Live Sculpture! (Lang Leve Beeldhouwkunst!) group exhibition at the Middelheim Museum. He was back a year later for a residency. And now, the open-air museum is offering de Jong a solo project, for which he is creating a display with new bronze figures.

The figurative installations devised by de Jong, which are anchored in the (often mysterious) history or meaning of a location, combine an ironic reference to the Old Masters with a large dose of the present. The dark side of human nature is the driving force behind this Dutch artist’s work, like his fascination with the opposition between pomp and circumstance on the one hand and the obscene reverse side of the display of power.

With regard to materials, Folkert de Jong usually goes for mass-produced substances rarely found in art, like polystyrene or composite foam. They are not meant to be eternal, neither are they environmentally friendly: precisely the unsettling properties that interest the artist. The worthless material is given huge appeal thanks to the precise execution of the work and the smart use of colour.

For his exhibition at the Middelheim Museum, de Jong has chosen to create a display of eleven new bronze sculptures, both figures and still lifes, that will be visible in and around the Het Huis (The House) exhibition pavilion. At first glance the arrangement looks very classical, but upon closer inspection it seems to have a disruptive effect on the harmony of the sculpture park. The artist connects timelessness with decay, art history with current affairs, freedom with compulsion.

Middelheim Museum
Middelheimlaan 61
2020 Antwerp