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Lily van der Stokker

"Female Friends", 2003, adaptation for mezzaterra11 - flat gallery

Courtesy of the artist and kaufmann repetto Milan / New York

“All my female friends have a kid, talk about pregnancy stuff.”
September 18 — December 31, 2020

You see a couch and a wall painting hanging over it, speech bubbles in which I write that most of my female friends have a kid, and always talk about pregnancy stuff. I am complaining here. A garbage bag is added, a domestic element, clean up that garbage (!), left at random with this artwork.

2000, I am then in my mid forties and the decision to not have kids I had made by then. This was a choice that we, the babyboomer generation of women, had. Birthcontrol, career or family. Most of my friends my age and artschool decided not to have kids. But then later I met a generation of younger women artists, and suddenly they all had a kid. I saw how for some of them it damaged their careers. And I saw their happiness and I loved their kids. I never had felt the desire to have kids and felt ok with it. But I had mixed feelings. An issue I was not able to simply wipe out of my life. I had to deal with it. Made several drawings and wall paintings of it. “Biba babyboomer”, “All my New York friends have no kids”. In the 2000’s the subject matter kept me busy, but, much earlier in 1989-90, I also made all kinds of ‘baby’ drawings. A ‘Baby’ graffiti design in 1990; a design for a painting monochrome titled “Childcare”; “Babietje” (dutch for little baby) and “Kids”, 2 wallpaintings at the Consortium in Dijon, 2002. The cute loveliness of it made me drool and enjoy. Kitsch! Cute! Smallness! New subject matter. Then on the boring subject of education of children I made a wall painting: “Happy childhood, by parents that give children goals that are achievable”, 2003. And how about the drawing, “If I would again organize a gallery it would be family oriented”, 1993. All these express the dilemma women of my generation had and still have. And how these can become subject matter for art.

“Female Friends”, acrylic paint on wall and mixed media, 380-340-99cm, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, DE, 2003

— Lily van der Stokker

Lily van der Stokker lives and works in Amsterdam and New York. Selected solo exhibitions include: Help Help a Little Old Lady Here, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich (2019); Friendly Good, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2018); Hammer Projects, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2015); Sorry, Same Wall Painting, New Museum, New York (2013); Terrible, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2010); No Big Deal Thing, Tate St. Ives, Cornwall, UK (2010). Her work has been included in group exhibitions at numerous museums and institutions in the U.S.A. and Europe such as Centre Pompidou, Paris; New Museum, New York; Aspen Art Museum, Aspen; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht; and Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem, Arnhem. Van der Stokker has completed monumental public art projects such as the Celestial Teapot, Hoog Catharijne, Utrecht (2013) and Pink Building during the World Expo in Hannover (2000).

mezzaterra11 – flat gallery is a conceptual project space that opens up new interpretations on documentation images of contemporary artworks, by creating meta-linguistic translation as a white cube is compressed to be flat. International artists are invited to present their work with one image that is selected, adapted, and ultimately, printed for the space as a format of a solo show.