Jacqueline de Jong’s eclectic paintings share an unwavering commitment to revolutionary aesthetics and politics. Her experiments with figuration and narrative mythologies condense geographical and historical timelines, giving rise to archetypal depictions of human suffering and strife. Drawing upon the artist’s biography as a World War II émigrée, her work evokes the profound trauma of dispossession and political powerlessness while eluding any fixed interpretation.
Best known as one of the few woman members of the Situationist International, Jong’s dedication to painting resulted in her eventual expulsion from the increasingly theoretical group. During this time, the artist also became deeply involved in local activism, founding the influential journal, The Situationist International (1958–1969) and fashioning disruptive interventions in public spaces. Jong’s persistent and prolific production is defined by fractured compositions and a preoccupation with cruelty, banality, humor, eroticism and even the joie de vivre of the human condition, making for an unquestionably grotesque and affective body of work.
Jacqueline de Jong (b. 1939, Hengelo, Netherlands) lives and works between Amsterdam, Netherlands and Bourbonnais, France. She was recently the subject of a major retrospective at WIELS Centre d’Art Contemporain, Brussels (2021), which traveled to MOSTYN, Wales (2022) and Kunstmuseum Ravensburg, Germany (2022). Solo institutional exhibitions include Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2019); Musée Les Abattoirs, Toulouse (2018); Malmö Konsthall (2018); and the Beinecke Library of Rare Books and Manuscripts, Yale University (2011), which acquired her archive, the Jacqueline de Jong Papers. Her work has been featured in the contextual surveys Freedom without Borders, Cobra Museum, Amstelveen (2023); Everyday, Someday and Other Stories, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2022); Des corps, des écritures, Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris (2022); Peter Ernst Eiffe & Friends, Kunstverein, Hamburg and the Drawing Center, New York (2021); Psychic Wounds: on Art and Trauma, The Warehouse, Dallas (2020–2021); Radio-Activity, Lenbachhaus, Munich (2020); Strategic Vandalism: The Legacy of Asger Jorn’s Modification Paintings, Petzel, New York (2019); Asger Jorn & Jacqueline de Jong: Case of the Ascetic Satyr, Galerie Clemens Thimme, Karlsruhe (2016); and The Avant-Garde Won’t Give Up: Cobra and Its Legacy, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles (2015). She has received an Outstanding Merit Award (2019), administered by the French Ministry for Culture and the AWARE Prize for Women Artists. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Musée d'Art Moderne, Paris; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Musée les Abattoirs, Toulouse; Cobra Museum of Modern Art, Amstelveen; Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem; Museum Arnhem, Arnhem; Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Museum Jorn, Silkeborg; Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo; MONA Tasmania; Kunstmuseum Göteborg, Sweden; Lenbachhaus, Munich; MCCA Toronto, among others.