press release

Erik van Lieshout first became known in the early 2000s for his visceral videos in which he often plays a central role, shown in environments of his own making: installations whose rough, bricolaged forms belie their sophistication. Whilst his immediate subject matter is often directly influenced by the political and social context of the Netherlands, van Lieshout’s work provocatively raises issues that are relevant across Europe and beyond: immigration and integration, class and gentrification. Despite these weighty topics, his work can be outrageously funny, using satire to reveal the failings of our society. With equally brutal honesty, he explores his own failings, both as a human being and as an artist. In recent works, he particularly questions art’s direct social impact and its potential to do good.

Van Lieshout’s show at WIELS is his first institutional solo presentation in Belgium. It features work made since 2009, including several video installations, their accompanying maquettes and works on paper. In the selection of projects and their articulation through the gallery spaces, the exhibition embodies van Lieshout’s attempts to remove himself from centre stage, to withdraw, to disappear.

Erik van Lieshout (b. 1968, NL) lives and works in Rotterdam.

Curator: Zoë Gray

With the support of the Netherlands Embassy