Ger van Elk

Dutch, 1941–2014

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Ger van Elk

Dutch, 1941–2014

190
Followers
Biography

Ger van Elk believed that representations of reality in art cannot be trusted, and this theory was the driving force behind his sculptures, installations, films, and painted photographs. He divorced subject matter from representation, making art history and the language of art the subjects of his compositions and constructions. La Pièce (1971), a white wooden block placed atop a red velvet cushion, is a critique of the art world’s megalomania. The block is positioned as an embodiment of modernist purity. Van Elk often included autobiographical elements in his work, as in the case of The Adieu (1974). Framed as an optical illusion, the work features a photograph of the artist waving to his viewers from a country road modeled after 17th-century Dutch landscapes.

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Career Highlights
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Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
documenta
Biography

Ger van Elk believed that representations of reality in art cannot be trusted, and this theory was the driving force behind his sculptures, installations, films, and painted photographs. He divorced subject matter from representation, making art history and the language of art the subjects of his compositions and constructions. La Pièce (1971), a white wooden block placed atop a red velvet cushion, is a critique of the art world’s megalomania. The block is positioned as an embodiment of modernist purity. Van Elk often included autobiographical elements in his work, as in the case of The Adieu (1974). Framed as an optical illusion, the work features a photograph of the artist waving to his viewers from a country road modeled after 17th-century Dutch landscapes.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
documenta
Articles Featuring Ger van Elk
The Free-Spirited Amalfi Coast Weekend That Launched Arte Povera
Feb 26th, 2019
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