MOSTYN Gallery in North Wales is becoming the first institution in the UK to present a solo exhibition of celebrated European avant-garde artist Jacqueline de Jong.
Born in the Netherlands in 1939, Jacqueline de Jong is a key figure of the European post-war avant-garde, with a career spanning half a century. Her role in the Situationist International marked her early years in Paris in the 1960s, where she was actively involved in the student protests of May 1968. In parallel to her work as an editor and designer — most notably for The Situationist Times, which she founded and published from 1962 until 1967 — de Jong has developed a unique painterly practice. In its spontaneity, de Jong’s expressive, often grotesque and excessive style follows the anti-academic and non-conformist aesthetic of the avant-garde.
Playfully moving between styles and painterly idioms throughout her career, the artist displays a voracious interest in the painted image as a site for confusion and subversion. She belongs to a group of artists who reintroduced narration by borrowing elements from popular culture, cinema, and illustration — all the while mixing the absurd with the mysterious. With a penchant for experimentation, de Jong plays with shape, style, and pictorial idioms in order to unfold an idiosyncratic and subversive body of work. Expressive yet realistic, her work exhibits uninhibited eroticism and sexual liberation.
This year, MOSTYN in Llandudno will present works spanning over fifty years of the Dutch artist’s career; Jacqueline de Jong: The Ultimate Kiss opens on 6 October and runs until 6 February 2022.
Curated by Juliette Desorgues (Curator of Visual Arts, MOSTYN) in collaboration with Devrim Bayar (Curator, WIELS) and Xander Karskens (Director, De Ateliers), the exhibition at MOSTYN is the first public presentation of de Jong’s prolific and provocative oeuvre in the UK via a non-linear presentation where works from different periods dialogue with one another, following the Situationist concept of the dérive (drift).
At the occasion of the exhibition, a new and important monograph has been published in collaboration with the Mercatorfonds. The publication is designed by Eurogroupe and includes essays by Devrim Bayar, Juliette Desorgues, Xander Karskens, Annabelle Ténèze and Niña Weijers, as well as a conversation between Jacqueline de Jong and Alison Gingeras.
To find out more about MOSTYN, visit the gallery’s website.
Header image: Portrait de Jacqueline de Jong (Credit: Damian Noszkowicz)