SPARK Art Fair Vienna

24 Jun 2021 - 27 Jun 2021

For the first edition of SPARK Art Fair Dürst Britt & Mayhew is proud to present a solo exhibition by Jacqueline de Jong, comprising of paintings from her series ‘Potato Blues’ and gold objects from the series ‘Pommes de Jong’.

Inspiration for both series is Jacqueline de Jong’s delight in the strange sprouted forms that a humble potato can take on. After their harvest they are left to dry for a long period of time, during which they produce sprouts, flowers, and bulges, before finally drying out completely. Only after this long natural process of transformation are they ready to be modified into precious objects or paintings. 

The lives of De Jong’s potato works start in the soil of her 16th century house in the Bourbonnais in France, where in 1996 she planted a vegetable garden. It was only in 2003 that she discovered some old potatoes in the cellar of her house. Their sprouts made her think of crazy horses or long cat’s hair and she felt that these potatoes could prove an interesting material to work with. Collector of artists’ jewellery Clo Fleiss asked her to create a piece, which led to the ‘Pommes de Jong’ series in 2008. For this series selected dried out potatoes are dipped into a bath of gold or platinum, which fixates them and preserves them for ‘eternity’ as a sort of ‘sculpture trouvée’. 

In August 2016, Jacqueline de Jong and onestar press in Paris published “La Psychogeographie des pommes de terre”: Potato Blues. This artist’s book compiles reproductions of black and white photographs of De Jong’s garden and potatoes in various stages of sprouting. For the publication the photographs were retouched by the artist with a black felt pen. Additionally De Jong enlarged and transferred selected photographs onto canvas and augmented these with oil sticks and nepheline gel. Suddenly animals, landscapes and monsters – part of the artist’s vocabulary since the early 1960s – seem to emerge upon the surface of the paintings. The titles of the works are funny, zany reinterpretations of the names of the different varieties of potatoes. 

We would like to thank onestar press in Paris and Eenwerk in Amsterdam for their kind cooperation and the Dutch Embassy in Austria for supporting this presentation.



Click to read ‘Patatatata’, a specially commissioned essay by Ann Demeester, director of the Frans Halsmuseum in Haarlem, Netherlands