April 21, 2011 - May 28, 2011

Friedman Benda, New York, NY

Rik Meijer’s debut at the gallery, entitled, I Am Still What I Wanted to Be, will open on April 21st and continue through May 28, 2011. It is the artist’s first solo show in the U.S. and runs concurrently with his exhibition, As if We Never Knew It at the Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht, the Netherlands. (April 17 – July 3, 2011)

I Am Still What I Wanted to Be comprises collaged paintings and works on paper. With an eye for the extreme, and an aesthetic sensibility formed in the underbelly of pop and underground culture, Meijers paints portraits of imaginary figures from the fringes of society. With expressionistic bravura, he uses unorthodox materials like bottle caps, wax, tar, feathers, corks, glitter, shards of glass, paint, resin and other materials to create a dense, tactile surface rich with texture.

Meijers mines the language of the underground for its raw power and immediacy of communication. A musician, and longtime fixture on the Dutch indie music scene, Meijers portrays his post-punk subjects with reverence, imbuing them with a dignity they are not normally accorded in contemporary society. Pin ups, prophets, mystics and pimps are lovingly adorned with the flotsam and jetsam of the streets.

The creative tension in his work resides in his exuberant embrace of heroic expressionist painting – while simultaneously mythologizing his figures that are far from noble. Still, like his literary heroes, Genet, Celine and Bukowski, Meijers does not liberate his figures from hell, but rather brings his viewer deep into the spirit of the world they inhabit.

Rik Meijers trained at the Academie Beeldende Kunsten (Visual Arts Academy) in Maastricht and Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht. Works by Rik Meijers are included in the collections of the Stedelijk Museum, Amseterdam, S.M.A.K. Gent, Fries Museum Leeuwarden, Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht, Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem, Schunck Heerlen, Museum Het Domein Sittard, ABN-AMRO Amsterdam, Océ Venlo, De Nederlandsche Bank Amsterdam and DSM Art Collection. In 1996 he won the Koninklijke Subsidie for free painting and in 2000 the Wolvecampprijs.

A catalogue/artist’s book with an introduction by Dominic van den Boogerd accompanies the exhibition at the Bonnefanten Museum.


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