Lily van der Stokker
For more than 30 years, Lily van der Stokker has been investigating the themes of everyday life and femininity, decoration and design as well as the psychology of the home.
To this end, transgressing the border of the canvas plays a central role. Having concentrated for decades on wall paintings, which she combined with language elements partly in a subversively-illustrative, supposedly humorous way, these are now increasingly complemented with sculptural elements and furniture. This way, she creates space-encompassing environments in which painting and design merge seamlessly.
For her exhibition at CAPRI, Lily van der Stokker has installed a domestic setting of furniture, carpet and painting that conveys the typical playful character of her work. All parts of the installation are covered with the same pattern of yellow, blue and pink flowers and floral lines. In this way a supposedly naive, frivolous aesthetic is created, with which the artist blatantly displays a symbolic world of the feminine: "Living Room / Wohnzimmer" appears sensitive and demanding, childlike and ladylike, emotional and constructed at the same time. Traditional boundaries between art and design, painting and decoration, patterns, materials and techniques flow into one another. The painting becomes the wallpaper, while chair, carpet and table gain a sculptural value.
This cross-genre approach includes an ambivalence that has always characterized van der Stokker's work: her furniture pieces are design objects that are in conflict with design, just as her art is in opposition to art. "Living Room / Wohnzimmer" is a mixture of nursery and salon, reflecting the longing for protection, comfort and private living space, for fashioned life and children’s fantasy. This rococo-like world, however, unfolds in its capricious, cartoon-like decoration an abundance that is hard to bear – thus tipping the supposedly functionally-domestic, girlishly-playful scenario into something oppressive. What has seemed familiar suddenly turns threatening and surreal. "Living Room / Wohnzimmer" becomes the symbol of domestic repression.
Lily van der Stokker, born in Den Bosch, The Netherlands, in 1954, lives and works in Amsterdam and New York. Solo exhibitions were held, amongst others, at Hammer Museum Los Angeles (2015), New Museum New York (2013), Kaufmann Repetto Gallery, Milan (2012) and Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2003). She has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2011), South London Gallery (2010) and De Appel, Amsterdam (2008).