Dutch artist Lily van der Stokker has been making bold, colorful large-scale wall paintings for more than twenty years. The artist applies colors ranging from soft pastels to bright fluorescents—sometimes in playful and visually arresting plaid patterns or all-over flower motifs—to amorphous soft-edged forms that inhabit the space like friendly oversized visitors. Witty texts added alongside van der Stokker’s forms complicate their first impression as the cartoony doodles of an adolescent or mere decorative ornamentation. Invoking the platitudes of polite society with expressions like “Best regards” or “Wonderful” or touching upon the realities that impact all our lives, from love to money to aging, with phrases like “Transfer the money to me” or “Only yelling older women in here, nothing to sell,” van der Stokker makes evident the power dynamics at work within seemingly innocuous spaces. Van der Stokker argues for the role of pleasure in aesthetic experience, finding alliances between beauty and intellect, playfulness and criticality.
Hammer Projects: Lily van der Stokker is organized by senior curator, Anne Ellegood with MacKenzie Stevens, curatorial assistant.